Skip to main content

Leaders call for support from Africa for media development



“Key African institutions are not doing enough to support the media in Africa”. This is one of the conclusions of a preliminary report released during the recent Consultative Forum on Media Strategies held in Nairobi, Kenya, by the African Media Initiative (AMI).

The report found that Western governments and international Foundations are the key funders of African media while African development institutions are largely absent. It also highlighted the gaps between what media support organizations are doing, and the needs articulated by media owners.

“It was interesting to note that many of the media support organizations we surveyed, particularly those working regionally and globally, concentrate their efforts on advocating for press freedom and the protection of journalists. That work is absolutely necessary to create a safe and conducive media environment”, said report author Maimouna Jallow.

“However, time and again, media owners tell us that what they need help with is better infrastructure, better trained senior managers and making their businesses financially sustainable. Media organizations must start looking much more into these issues too”.

The preliminary report, “Developing Strong Synergies and Partnerships for Africa” is based on a survey of some 30 international, regional and national media organizations, as well as media owners from across the continent. Given the positive response from the more than 100 forum participants, who spoke of a lack of Africa-wide research and data on media trends, AMI has committed itself to undertaking a more in-depth study that can help media organizations, owners, editors, journalists and donor’s alike better understand the environment they operate in.

A second AMI report presented during the Forum showed that coverage and analysis of development issues made up only about 12% of overall news coverage. According to report author Joseph Warungu, a Programme Director at AMI: “The media in Africa is still obsessed with covering politics. You can almost predict in advance what the front pages will say. But at AMI we believe that it is fundamental that the media be part of the developmental aspirations of this continent. For that to happen, media in Africa needs to cover the issues that matter to its citizens - how will their children find jobs in the future; what food are they putting in their mouths; how are the continent’s resources being spent; and so on”.

The Consultative Forum on Media Strategies was the first of its kind, and was launched by AMI’s new CEO Eric Chinje, who presented AMI’s three-year strategy and invited other media organizations to create new partnerships that would help the media sector grow.

“If there is something that AMI is doing and that you can do better, take the lead. If you need AMI to facilitate relationships with media owners, journalists, media support organizations, advertisers, funders, and so on, we will do so. It is about identifying gaps, minimizing duplication, seizing opportunities and developing the necessary assessment and evaluation tools to ensure that investments in the media are effective and lasting".

AMI’s strategy rests on three main axes of intervention: Creating a network of excellence through the Zimeo Platform; leading the specialisation of journalists in Africa through its Media Services and creating Pan-African content that speaks to the narrative of a ‘rising continent’ through the African Media Cooperative (AMC).

“We call on institutions to partner with us. In the next three years, we build networks of specialists on issues that are critical to continental development. We will be expanding our networks and ensuring that we can create better synergies between the key players on the continent. Africa must speak in her own voice and the media plays a critical role in carrying those messages,” Chinje added.

AMI announced an Ebola Special Fund for the Union of Journalists from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea during the Forum. The fund will help financially support the brave journalists working tirelessly to cover one of the hardest stories in history - the story of the disease that is robbing their countries of its people and its developmental advances.

Credit: AMI


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Deputy AG sues Facebooker over 'malicious' Ameri deal

The Deputy Attorney-General and Member of Parliament for Bolgatanga East, Mr Dominic Ayine has filed a defamation suit at an Accra High Court against a Facebook commentator, Evron Hughes.
In Mr Ayine’s statement of claim, sighted by Graphic Online, he accused Mr Hughes of defaming him in a post he authored and published on Facebook on December 21, 2015, titled “RE: AMERI TRANSACTION”.
According to the Deputy A-G, the “false and malicious” post has provoked “public disaffection” against him and exposed him to public ridicule and contempt.
Describing Mr Hughes as a “self-styled social media blogger and a social commentator”, Mr Ayine said the Facebook post had brought his hard-won reputation “as a respected politician, teacher and lawyer” into “hatred, ridicule, odium, discredit, contempt, opprobrium and reproach”.
The Deputy A-G said the “defamatory words” were authored with the sole intent to reduce him in the estimation of all right thinking Ghanaians, adding that he had received numerou…

Meet Ghanaian female shoemaker

The Saint Ozwald shoe brand

By: Fred Yaw SARPONG
The Daily Express

From her humble beginning in Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo region, a senior high female graduate from the Twene Amanfo Senior high in the Brong Ahafo Sunyani and a Ghanaian now boasts of being one of the most popular Made-in-Ghana shoe brands and has the most number of celebrity endorsements.
Sandra Ozwald, CEO of Saint Ozwald

After Sandrah Ozwald completed school in 2013, her parent couldn't have enough money to help her continue school so she planned to do something for herself by selling ice cream, groundnut cakes or food. Back at the senior high, Sandra used to make groundnut cakes, condensed toffees and ice cream to support herself since her mother couldn't provide all for her.

With 12 siblings and the only girl child (2nd born) among them, and whiles planning which of these to sell, Sandra attended a friend’s wedding and the grooms shoe looked so attractive to her.

According to her, the groom’s shoes were Ma…