IPS – Inter Press Service News Agency
December 12th, 2011

Prof. Alfred Opubor. Credit: Courtesy Adea-Comed website.

IPS deeply regrets the passing away of Professor Alfred Opubor, an internationally renowned specialist in the field of communication and member of IPS Africa Board of Directors, in early December in Cotonou, Benin.

Prof. Opubor’s expertise was communication theories and message systems, and their applications in development. A former university professor and head of the department of mass communication, he was also a researcher, government policy adviser and senior communication specialist in the United Nations system.

His expertise in strategic communication has been requested by several national, regional and international organisations, especially within the United Nations system for many years.

Moreover, Prof. Opubor was Senior Consultant to the Chairman of the African Union Commission, he was Coordinator of the ADEA Working Group on Communication for Education and Development (WG COMED), where he contributed to the setting up and consolidation of the Working Group COMED and the Africa Education Journalism Award.

Since 2003 until his death in December  2011, he was Secretary-General of the WANAD Centre in Cotonou.

IPS colleagues in Africa remember him:

Farai Samhungu, IPS Africa Board member and former Regional Director

“I received the news of Prof Alfred Opubor with great shock and sadness. Prof. Opubor was a man of great commitment. He was generous with his knowledge in communication, media and education that he acquired through his many years of service in Africa and abroad.

My first meeting with Prof. Opubor was  through a job interview with UNFPA in Zimbabwe. I got the job. I remember him telling that one of his passions was to create spaces for the career development for young African female professionals. I was privileged to be one of those young women (then). True to his word, he provided me with mentorship and support as I found my ground, helping me to conceptualise projects and to get comfortable with the UN’s ways.

After I joined IPS, one of my tasks was to strengthen IPS presence in Africa by identifying men and women with expertise and knowledge to help achieve the organisation’s mandate in Africa. We invited Prof. Opubor to join the IPS Africa board of directors, an invitation he agreed to take on graciously. He served on the board and continued to share his knowledge generously while at the same time opening up spaces for IPS Africa to link up with strategic organisations that were part of his network across.

His passing has robbed IPS Africa of a man of immense wisdom and commitment. But like fellow board member Emily Brown says, Prof. Opubor would like us to continue to serve IPS Africa dilligently and to continue with work that needs doing. That way, we will honour the legacy of a man who continued to shine, who refused to be slowed by age and whose laughter was most infectious.

May your soul rest in peace Prof. Opubor.”

Govin Reddy, current Chair of the IPS Africa Board

“Alfred was a larger than life man with that captivating smile and energetic personality. A serious intellectual committed to the IPS philosophy, Alfred will be sorely missed.”

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