Africa has from time immemorial suffered the pinch of negative branding at the behest journalists on the continent undeservedly that many young Africans would opt to seek greener pastures elsewhere in the world even at their detriment. This, Mrs. Vete Tatah of the Africa Institute on Media, Migration and Development (AIMMAD) must change in order to tell the world about the potential and market the good stories on the contient.
Mrs. Tatah spoke at the opening of the five days Robert Bosch Stiftung September School on Migration currently taking place in Rabat, Morocco.
According to her, it is time that Africans give different narratives of how migration has portrayed Africa as an insignificant continent in the World.
She described the reportage of development stories on the continent as an important tool to address the underlying factors for Africa’s underdevelopment.
The AIMMAD official added that Africans should begin telling the positive stories about the continent and strive to development it instead of migrating to other parts of the world for better living conditions.
Madam Tatah has also called on African Journalists to be focused on the positive of the continent and rethink migration from a more progressive standpoint through balanced reportage.
For his part, Dr. Eric Chinje of the African Media Initiative called on the Journalists to exercise their journalistic power to report more development from a holistic stance.
Dr. Chinje said Africa can regain her valuable status when development stories surpass stories of only negativity on the continent.
He named Climate change, bad economies, injustice and other societal ills as major issues that confront the Continent which he said can be addressed through a constructive reportage to better the lives of Africans.
The African Media Initiative Head also attributed poverty and unemployment to the failure of African Governments to implement realistic policies for the improvements of African livelihood.
Dr. Chinje pointed out that poverty, unemployment and other factors drive the phenomenal at the same time accounting for big share of intraregional mobility of youth in search of job opportunities.
He said Africa at the helm of her natural resources has the power to develop the continent.
Madam Rosa Maria Gonzalez, IPDC Deputy Secretary, Communication and Information Sector, UNESCO, expressed concern over high level of disinformation and rise in hate speeches, which gained prominence in the African media.
She advised issues of climate change, sustainable development and migration did not only threaten the African continent, but had serious global threats and required urgent attention from the media.
Professor Dr Susanne Fengler of the Erich-Brost-Institut of International Journalism, TU Dortmund University, said it was necessary for Africa, and the global media in general to build networks, and help each other cover issues of migration in a proactive way.
Migration, she explained remained key component of human life, and hoped expectations of participants would be met.
Saywhar Nanag Gbaa of ECOWAS Radio, Liberia is among 27 journalists from across Africa and Europe attending the five days event aimed at building bridges between Journalists in Europe and Africa on migration.