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’’Special Fund for Media Development’’ in Africa to be set up

Friday 27 November 2015, by SIGNIS

Dakar, Brussels, November 27th, 2015 (PANA/SIGNIS). The African Media Initiative (AMI) declared it has been tasked to explore the establishment of a publicly-financed ’’Special Fund for Media Development,’’ whose core purpose will be to strengthen journalism capacity in Africa’s low-income countries.

In a statement, made available to PANA in Dakar, AMI disclosed that the task was made by the just-concluded African Media Leaders Forum (AMLF) which was held in South Africa and came up with new pathways to journalism excellence on the continent.

According to the AMI, a new initiative to strengthen coverage of African elections and boost reporting capacity was also unveiled. “Plans are underway to establish an electronic ’African Media Cooperative’ that would pool news stories and improve knowledge-sharing among media houses,” the statement noted. ’’Africa is on the cusp of unprecedented economic, cultural and social transformations,’’ remarked Eric Chinje, AMI’s Chief Executive Officer.

’’African media have a central role to play in catalyzing sustainable development on the continent and securing sustainable growth of the media sector. At Birchwood Hotel and conference Center, we took an evidence-based approach to secure a better future for African media and improve the everyday lives of Africans,’’ he added.

To harness the latest knowledge and leverage technology, AMI said it would seek collaboration with the U.S. Newspaper Publishers Association. More than 600 media leaders met at the forum and reviewed new opportunities arising from digital technologies. They also charted a forward-looking action plan which focused on media development and greater engagement for sustainable development in Africa.

The AMLF is convened by the Nairobi-based AMI and marks the largest gathering of its type of African media owners and professionals. The statement pointed out that the next AMLF would be held in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, in November 2016.

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