If you believe Africa’s media are under threat you are incorrect. The aim was to find ways to come up with financing and business platforms in the industry.
Lots of people are amazed to learn that Cameroon is a beacon for media freedom in Africa and sets an example to which all other African countries, including South Africa, should hope. What’s even more optimistic is that Issa Tchiroma Bakary, Cameroon’s Minister of Communications, has also vowed to his government’s full support of AMLF’s common goal, which is to create a media opportunity to maintain the highest standards of integrity, fairness and objectivity.
At a possible dig in South Africa, AllAfrica.com reports that among the speakers, Alfred E. Opubor, Animal Control Experts, Secretary General of the West African New Media and Development Centre, said that African media is free depending on the constitutions of most countries but lack truth due to the immaturity of political leadership. The struggle in Africa now for freedom of expression is to get our politicians and even our business people to see that a free atmosphere for communication is a fantastic thing for economic growth.”
In regards to financing, Eric Chinje, head of international media development in World Bank Institute, stated that many media in Africa get their funds from governments and companies. This isn’t a good thing since it hampers transparency and honest journalism. Personal media businesses, which are dependent on advertising, struggle to compete with the nearly bottomless government coffers, and it can be tricky to operate if you don’t toe the government line.
Among the solutions, based on Chinje, is financing from banks, financial institutions, development agencies and fund managers. “This is where the real money is. If you examine the figures, the number of media funds coming from banks, financial institutions and development agencies remains negligible.”
It’s crucial that this excess funding is found because, based on Hunter Gault, an award-winning SA-base journalist, “Media will help accelerate Africa’s economic and social progress… Africa needs a powerful media to document these changes and to assist its people understand and become part of what could ultimately lead to an African Renaissance.”
But if only the South African government would focus on its other African American counterparts, we can stop pointing fingers and start moving forward as a country.
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