October 15/2022/ENA /The African media have to be more proactive to tell progressive stories and sell Africa’s vision better than focus on the challenges, African Union Commission (AUC) Communication Advisor told ENA.

AUC Communication Advisor, Doreen Apollos said the African media has to be more proactive to tell progressive stories and sell Africa’s vision better than the focus on the challenges.

“The media has to be a bit more proactive to be able to tell the progressive stories and sell the vision of Africa better than focus on just the challenges.”

Although the challenges Africa is facing are generally the same as those the West face, the focus of the media coverage is different for the West and Africa, she noted.  

“We would encourage the press to do the same, to be able to tell the African narrative, not just from the challenges, but to be able to show the progress that Africa has made in various aspects.”

According to the advisor, the regional bloc is encouraging African media and journalists to tell the African narrative and the progress in various aspects of the continent.

The media play key role in all aspects of Africa and African media did a lot in shaping the African narrative, she said, a few gaps however need to be sealed and AU is working with partners to build their capacity.

Apollos pointed out that the AU trained its first media fellows for the past two weeks to give them access to the AU leadership, and decisions to interact with it and play their professional role.

“What we are trying to do is to give them access to the AU leadership, and the AU decisions and to interact with us so that they know better what the AU is doing; and we are doing this because we understand, appreciate and acknowledge the role of the media.”  

They are the people who advocate for the work we are doing, hold accountable our leaders, the private sector and the civil society to the commitments they have made to advance the transformation of this continent, the advisor stated.  

Apollos believes that for the media to play its role to properly seal the gaps, capacity building and equipping them with technology to cope with the shift to digitalization is crucial.

Rwanda AU Media Fellow, Johnson Kanamugire said African journalists and media are facing technological challenges as citizens’ news demand and consumption have been shifting fast.

The journalists and media have to get capacity building training to cope with the emerging technologies and disruptions of the media business model, he noted.

Some media professionals from somewhere out of Africa are telling the African story in a way they want and fits with their interest and agenda, Johnson observed.

He further called on concerned bodies in Africa to build the capacity of African media so that they can effectively document focusing on the developments on the continent.

Following an open call for the Fellowship in April 2022, the 15 Fellows were selected as the first cohort of AU Media Fellows to promote engagement with African journalists and recognize the important role and contributions of journalists towards the achievement of Agenda 2063 and have been taking tours and training as well as exchanged views with relevant actors.

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