• en

AfDB President Adesina Calls for Partnership Between AfDB, Afreximbank, Others to Establish Globally Respected African Media Company

AfDB has announced plans to establish Annual African Media Prize and African Journalists and Correspondents’ Fellowship to promote African stories.

The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, on Thursday, called on the Africa Import Export Bank (Afreximbank) and all regional financial institutions to partner with the AfDB to pool resources together to support the emergence of a globally respected African media company that would focus on projecting opportunities on the continent.

This, he said, would help address the misinformation and stereotypes about Africa in the western media.

Adesina, made this call in a keynote address he delivered at the opening ceremony of the AllAfrica Media Leaders’ Summit with the theme: ” Re-engineering African Media in Times of Critical Transformation,” in Nairobi, Kenya.

The Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of THISDAY and Arise Media Group, Prince Nduka Obaigbena,  is one of the Co-chairs of the three-day summit.

Speaking further, Adesina stressed that the media has a critical  role to be fair, objective, inquisitive, investigative and being catalyst for development as well as promoting positive news about Africa’s accomplishments and achievements.

While he acknowledged that the continent has its own share of challenges, Adesina maintained that the continent also has a lot of positive aspects that could be showcased.

He noted that unfortunately, African journalists working as Correspondents for foreign-based organisations many times promote stereotypes about the continent.

He therefore urged media houses to devote time and resources to build a network of Correspondents on ground that could properly report stories rather than relying on western agencies which sometimes were biased.

“Lack of financing has been cited by 92 percent of editors, journalists and media houses as a constraint for covering stories effectively. There is a strategic business case for financial institutions to put significant resources together to finance a credible African media institution to make it have a global reach.

“This is because information about the continent must be properly prioritised and disseminated.  To attract more foreign direct investments, positive stories and opportunities in Africa need to be more showcased.

“I would therefore say that the AfDB, Afreximbank and all regional financial institutions should pool resources together to support the emergence of a globally respected African media company that would focus and project the needs and opportunities in the continent.

“Africa must shape its own narrative and not just what the world always thinks about us.  We must focus more on what is working in Africa.

“To recognise and profile African journalists, Correspondents and media houses that promote Africa with unbiased stories, the AfDB will work with all other Africa agencies and African corporates to establish what will now be known as the Annual African Media Prize. “Also, the AfDB working with partners and African corporates will establish the African Journalists and Correspondents’ Fellowship, to help build and strengthen the capacity of journalists and Correspondents working in Africa,” Adesina added.

He urged media leaders to become marketers of Africa so as to project all the opportunities in the continent, citing a quote from Chinua Achebe which says, “until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt always glorify the hunter.”

According to the AfDB boss, for the western world if the information coming out from Africa doesn’t smell, then it doesn’t sell.”

Adesina added: “Now, Africans must tell their own stories. Not the stories that others write about us; not the stories of the old colonial narratives; not the stories impregnated with war, famines, conflicts and division; not biased stories – intended or unintended, but stories of us, Africans, written by Africans, about Africa and projected to the world. We must be the ‘vuvuzelas’ of Africa. It is time to change the narrative.”

He, however, stressed that an independent, professional and responsible media was critical for freedom of speech, promotes democracy and strengthens inclusiveness.

“We live in dynamic times as technology continues evolve rapidly, the rise of the internet, digital and social media platforms have shifted the focus of audiences from radio, televisions and print publications.

Two-thirds of the global population are now on the internet and social media for real-time news.

“This transformative changes have deregulated the creation and distribution of news contents.

In the quest for market share, too many positive developments in Africa get missing.”

Earlier in his opening remarks, the Chairman of the AllAfrica Media Leaders’ Summit, Amadou Mahtar Ba, noted that with the advent and evolution of technology, the media has entered into a promising phase, which also comes with challenges.

He also urged journalists to guard against fake news and promote responsible journalism always.

Obinna Chima

Follow us on: