Africa’s Media Has an Important Role to Play in the Continent’s Development
Tunis, 28 March 2008 – Africa’s media has a very important role to play in the continent’s development, AfDB President Donald Kaberuka said Friday in Tunis at the opening of an international media summit on Re-branding Africa, hosted by the African Development Bank.
He explained that the media can assist in the development process by reporting objectively on efforts being made in various domains, by reporting what works and what is not working in efforts improve the economy, reduce poverty and improve living standards. The AfDB is not in the business of setting up media houses but would endeavour to assist in the training of journalists in business and development communication and related domains. The African media must build the capacity it requires to make Africa’s voice heard across the world, he noted.
Mr. Kaberuka also spoke about the 14-15 May Annual Meetings of the Bank Group which will take place in Maputo, Mozambique.
Mozambique, he said, is a good example of an emerging post-conflict country in which the Bank is playing a modest role with a portfolio of about US $600 million. Many other countries can learn from Mozambique’s experience.
He cited the humble beginnings of China which has grown over a short period of time to become a major player on the world scene.
Mr. Kaberuka also highlighted the Bank Group’s facility for fragile states to be used to help countries emerging from civil conflict to gradually stabilize their economic and social circumstances.
"When an African state is in a crisis situation, the entire international community will mobilize to end hostilities followed by elections. Thereafter, everyone turns their backs on the population to sort out themselves. The AfDB intends to end this approach by providing the countries in such situations some modest means they can fall back on to renew hope and rebuild their lives.
The gathering, which has attracted a cross section of the media across the world is organized by the African Communications Agency (ACA) in collaboration with the African Union, the ECOWAS, the African Business Roundtable and the Diaspora African Forum.
In her opening speech, ACA President, Erieka Bernett, explained that the theme of this year’s summit, "How the Youth can help change the image of Africa in the re-branding process" was in line with the AU Declaration of 2008 as the year of the youth.
The youth of Africa, she said, has a responsibility in the re-branding of the continent and ensuring that they continuously strive to improve the economic and social conditions of Africa and portray the positive sides of the continent.
In the course of three days AIMS will engage participants in critical discussion on issues relating to the proper and adequate dissemination of information about the ‘New and Emerging Africa’ and the re-branding of Africa.
The ACA, with headquarters in Accra focuses on establishing partnerships and developing initiatives to help change the negative perception of Africa created by the media and to introduce African businesses to the global marketplace.