KIGALI - Media experts attending the first session of the Commonwealth Media Forum have resolved that the only way Africa can prosper is through the use of developmental journalism and owning the African story.
The Forum, taking place in Kigali, opened Tuesday
The second session of the forum, which will be about media training, is scheduled to begin today.
Ambassador Ayo Oke, the head of the African and Political Affairs Section at the Commonwealth Secretariat, spoke about media support and the role it should play.
“We must underscore the point that supporting the media as an institution would require greater understanding of what constitutes the sector in order to engender appropriate responses,” Oke said.
“Time has come for the media in Africa to re-focus on development issues and on the challenges that confront peoples of African; poverty, hunger, high unemployment, lack of housing and other problems.”
Oke further noted the need to focus on how African countries can use the lessons learnt from the recent global economic crisis, to pursue policies which will help them, not only to recover, but also lay a foundation for sustainable growth.
In his analysis of developmental media, Uganda-born journalist, Joachim Buwembo, said that not much has been reported on developmental issues in African mainstream media, although they touch the very lives of majority.
“This makes the case for citizen journalists,” Buwembo said.
The Associate Director of the School of Journalism at Nairobi University, George Nyabuga, said that although journalism is concerned with rendering truthful accounts of events, it is largely a representation of issues and events.
The caretaker Minister of Information, Protais Musoni, said that the government is firmly committed to working with stakeholders and partners to develop and professionalize the sector.