Mr Gorjestani, Chief Knowledge Officer, Africa Region, World Bank gave the Keynote Address, "Information and Knowledge for Empowerment". He had four key messages for the Consultation, which were the following: (i) the knowledge era changes the rules of the game, (ii) a framework is needed to learn and share knowledge, (iii) a key aim should be the empowerment of local communities, and (iv) it should be possible to leverage the capabilities of institutions into improving knowledge exchange. Mr Gorjestani then went on to describe knowledge and learning frameworks which illustrate how information and knowledge can be used to empower and enable. He showed their potential by describing various examples of the use of indigenous knowledge to empower local communities. He went on to trace the process of adaptation that is the key to leveraging global and indigenous knowledge systems needed to increase development impact.
Mr Gorjestani concluded by proposing to the Consultation a six point approach for FAO's programme for WAICENT. The mission and purpose of the programme needed to be carefully outlined, together with a clear definition of the organization's sources of competitive advantage. It should move forward with the development of appropriate information management systems bearing in mind the human element of the process. FAO should aim to develop a framework for the sharing of information and knowledge, leveraging global and local knowledge systems, based on strong partnerships.