Need for our own media could not be more urgent

There's a strong need for Africa to set up a media tailor made for her needs, not being baby-sat and fed with what we should watch, listen or read.
Journalists cover an event in Kigali. / File

The past week was not short of stories; good and bad. Tragedy first struck two weeks ago when a team of young Thai footballers were trapped in a flooded cave. International solidarity kicked in place as diving experts flew in from all over the world to lend a hand.

Since the incident took place in the midst of the Football World Cup, it attracted the sympathy of the footballing world as well as international media which highlighted the power of cooperation. They had been starved of hard, emotion-raising news even though Trump usually adds some colour to otherwise lackluster political affairs, nothing could beat the Thailand cave rescue story.

Back on our continent, South Sudan was back in the news – regional news. It hardly got mention in mainstream media. Perhaps they had gotten weary of travelling down the same route time and again. The two sides make, sign agreements, form a coalition government only to be at each other’s’ throats resulting in countless casualties.

This time, they again signed some form of truce under the watchful eyes of Presidents Bashir and Museveni with Ramaphosa pitching in. It is a wait-and-see game but this time continental intervention has hardly made any impression.

Right next door, Ethiopia and Eritrea caught everyone off balance when the buried the hatchet. The 20-year old conflict was silenced by just two men. There were no external mediators. Rwanda at one point tried to broker peace between the former brothers-in-arms but it seems both parties were not ready to take the leap at that time.

Now that they have smoked the peace pipe, the news just received a few column-inch mention in the mainstream press, yet with a stroke of a pen, thousands, if not millions lives, will be changed for the better.

The above mentions make for a stronger argument for the need to set up a media tailor made for our needs, not being baby-sat and fed with what we should watch, listen or read.


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