African Media Freedom a Reality
If you think the African media are under threat, you’re wrong. The Third African Media Leaders Forum (AMLF) was recently held in Yaounde, Cameroon, and it is likely that the media industry in Africa is growing by the hour rather than by day, although it is constrained by a lack of funding. The forum, dedicated to the theme “Funding African Media in the Age of Uncertain Economic Models,” brought together 271 media representatives and representatives of the banking sector. The goal was to find ways to develop financial and business platforms in the industry.
Many people would be surprised to learn that Cameroon is a beacon of press freedom in Africa and an example to which all other African countries, including South Africa, should aspire. With more hope, Issa Chiroma Bakary, Cameroon’s Minister of Communications, also promised that his Government would fully support AMLF’s overall goal of creating networking opportunities that meet the highest standards of ethics, fairness and objectivity.
During a possible dig in South Africa, AllAfrica reports that one of the speakers, Alfred E. Opobor, secretary general of the West African Center for New Media and Development, said that African media are theoretically free based on the constitution of most countries. but he lacks reality because of the immaturity of political leadership. Ministers and politicians should see the press not as an enemy of progress, but as a partner. Today’s struggle in Africa for freedom of expression is aimed at making our politicians and even our businessmen understand that a free communication environment is a good issue for the economy. Development. “
Speaking about funding, Eric Chinge, head of global media development at the World Bank Institute, said most media outlets in Africa receive funding from governments and corporations. It’s bad because it undermines transparency and honest journalism. Private media companies that depend on advertising find it difficult to compete with the almost appalling state treasury, and they can find it hard to work if you don’t stick to the government’s line.
One solution, according to Chinji, is to finance banks, financial institutions, development agencies and fund managers. “That’s where the real money is. If you look at the figures, the amount of media funding from banks, financial institutions and development agencies is negligible.”
It is important to find this additional funding because, according to Hunter Gault, an award-winning SA journalist, “the media can help accelerate Africa’s economic and social progress … Africa needs strong media to record these changes. part of what could eventually lead to the rebirth of Africa. “
If only the Government of South Africa had paid attention to its other African counterparts now, we could have stopped pointing the finger and moving forward as a nation.