Adieu Ben Canavan: the man of constructive dissent
This entry is just a farewell to a friend, diplomat and someone I respect and admire a lot. Benjamin Canavan, the Public Affairs Officer at the US Embassy in Malawi. His tour of duty has ended and he returns tomorrow.
He is among the many unacknowledged diplomats that worked around the clock during the transition after the death of President Bingu wa Mutharika. Many will never know of this diplomat who worked tirelessly and asked for all available information but never for once even twitted what was going around.
Ben, is an avid follower of this blog, just like another diplomat I know and admire.
I have worked with him since he arrived in 2010, a good listener and contributor to every debate we have engaged in.
But Ben's contribution to Malawi will be his role in fighting for a free press and what I learnt this evening 'constructive dissent.'
Ben has followed every media freedom development with keen interest, supporting media bodies, capacity building for Journalists and more importantly working behind the scenes to ensure Government guarantees security for Journalists.
Ben was there when the going was tough for Malawi media, he would organise a get together at his house just to get us related.
Ben will for long time be remembered for his work, kind words and support to whatever we did in the industry during the two years we faced uncertainty.
He represented the United States well and will surely always remember him as among the greatest Public Affairs officers I have worked with.
I wish Ben and his family all the best in DC. For those who do not know him, he is the guy giving me my blogger of the Year award. It could not have come from a right person than Ben Canavan, a great friend to Malawi media.