Africa: Prime Minister Hailemariam Urges Africa to Establish Its Own Media Network
11 November 2013
Government of Ethiopia (Addis Ababa)
Prime Minister Hailemariam urged participants at the African Media Leaders Forum to consider building a continental media network.
The theme of the African Media Leaders Forum, meeting this week in Addis Ababa, is "Media and African Renaissance", with a focus on improving the continent's reporting.
In a keynote address to the 6th African Media Leaders Forum this week, the Prime Minister stressed the need to have a continental media network, run by in dependent professionals, which could portray Africa in a favorable light on a global scale.
Ethiopia, he said, would support such a project "as we believe that the African continent has to end the legacy of dependency, including in the area of today's most vital service - information."
He urged African journalists and media leaders to take ownership of the idea as they had a key role in building the continent's image and changing it for the better.
The continent's media should strive to portray Africa as an emerging union of states determined to push ahead along the path of democracy and development.
"The African story needs to be accurately told in a way that reflects our challenges and aspirations," he said, adding that "by and large coverage of unfolding media events by the hegemonic world media has continued to be negative, with the continent written o ff at one time as a failed continent."
The Prime Minister said the narrative was now changing to one of "Africa Rising" and it was important for the continental media to play a leading role in pushing this positive story and to speak with a single voice.
He said that Ethiopia had once been a symbol of everything that went wrong on the continent, but it had now changed with one of the world's fastest growing economies. He attributed this to a focus on democracy and a new system of government that recognized the central role of global and individual rights in development.