AFRICAN MEDIA LEADERS FORUM CHARTS NEW PATHWAYS TO JOURNALISTIC EXCELLENCE

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AFRICAN MEDIA LEADERS FORUM CHARTS NEW PATHWAYS TO JOURNALISTIC EXCELLENCE:

Action Plan Focuses on Media Development and Greater Engagement for Sustainable Development of the Continent

Johannesburg, Nov 17, 2015 – More than 600 media leaders met at the 7th African Media Leaders Forum during November 11-13 to review new opportunities arising from digital technologies and charted a forward-looking action plan for media development on the continent.

“Africa is on the cusp of unprecedented economic, cultural and social transformations,” said Eric Chinje, CEO, African Media Initiative (AMI). “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.”

A highlight of the Forum was a keynote address by H.E. Dr. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, President of the Republic of Mauritiu, and a welcome address by Hon. Jeff Radebe, Minister in the Presidency, South Africa.

The 19 Zimeo Excellence in Media Awards 2015 announced at the Forum mark a new push to drive excellence in media and support the sustainable development agenda for the continent. A record 557 entries in 22 categories were received from across the continent and were assessed by a pan-African complement of judges and jurors.

The Forum tasked AMI with exploring 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. Plans are underway to establish an electronic “African Media Cooperative” that would pool news stories and improve knowledge-sharing among media houses. A new initiative to strengthen coverage of African elections and boost reporting capacity was announced. To harness the latest knowledge and leverage technology, AMI will seek collaboration with the U.S. Newspaper Publishers Association.

The AMLF is convened by the Nairobi-based African Media Initiative (AMI) and marks the largest gathering of its type of African media owners and professionals. The next AMLF will be held in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire in November 2016 and venue and dates will be announced after consultation with the Ivorian authorities.

All Forum materials are available online on the AMI website,www.africanmediainitiative.org

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