The African Media Initiative (AMI) is a pan-African organisation registered in Kenya as a company limited by guarantee. It seeks to strengthen the continent’s private and independent media sector from an owner and operator perspective to promote democratic governance, social development, and economic growth. It does so through a set of strategic activities aimed at transforming the media and communications landscape on the continent.
AMI’s overall goal is to promote the development of pluralistic media as a necessary and critical ingredient of democratic governance, as well as economic and human development in Africa. Its approach is informed by its organizational vision to strengthen the media sector so that it plays a more decisive role in promoting social development and economic growth, and in empowering citizens to hold governments and other institutions to account. This coheres with its strategic goal of reducing the gap between media content and the development agenda of countries in the continent.
The organization supports the development of a media sector that is professionally proficient, financially sustainable, technologically efficient, and socially responsible so that it can best serve the public interest. It seeks to engage, empower and strengthen the capacities of African media owners and operators by tackling key constraints to media action. It does so through partnerships, advocacy and strategic projects to bring about much-needed reforms in media policy, increased access to financing, state of the art management, technology adaptation, and greater emphasis on leadership and ethics.
All relevant regional stakeholders, from the African Union Commission, the African Development Bank and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa through every significant African media structure (owners, editors, journalists) have formally endorsed AMI, suggesting a powerful consensus that a healthy media sector is a requirement for improved growth, governance, and accountability.
AMI has an extensive record of capacity building and interacting with or engaging African journalists for reporting on development issues such as agriculture and food security, women empowerment, health and sanitation, energy, urbanization, resilience and poverty alleviation. The relevance of community media to these issues makes this sector of the industry an area of special focus for AMI. Special incentives to promote quality reporting in development journalism include our annual media excellence competition, the Zimeo Awards.
- Our continental mandate.
- Our database of more than 7,000 media stakeholders (reporters, editors, media owners and managers, media associations, etc.) across Africa.
- Our proven, demonstrable and verifiable convening capacity of both media stakeholders and development players in any city on the continent.
- Our content development focus
- Our ability to rally journalistic resources towards reshaping the tell Africa narrative.
- Our media research capacity.
Training: AMI has trained more than 1,000 journalists to build their reporting capacities on sectors such as gender, agriculture, ICT, business, resilience, urbanization, energy, etc. These journalists are systematically grouped in specialized networks where they share their reports, challenges and opportunities.
Research: AMI also conducts research for its own programmes and for third parties on various communication areas such as the media landscape in Africa, media coverage of African Union activities, Africa-Europe migration, how Africa is reported by the international and local media, China’s forays into Africa, media funding, status of development reporting in Africa, governance, among others.
Content Promotion: AMI explores possibilities of partnerships both on the continent and outside to ensure that articles produced in our various specialized networks are shared among media houses on the continent and beyond. Some of the reports are going to be proposed to reputable international media to ensure African-created content makes it to their newsrooms and therefore challenges the imbalance in content flow between the West and Africa.
Incentive: AMI has initiated an award scheme to celebrate excellence in development reporting across the continent. The ZIMEO awards celebrate reporting excellence every year in areas such as agriculture, health, education, maritime economy, climate change, business, etc.