How has the image Africa been projected by the media in Africa? Does Africa have a media of its own to projects its image globally? The answer is No. What are our sources of information about Africa? Answer: The BBC, CNN, VOA, Radio France International ect. Are they given Africans and the world the true picture of the continent. That is to say are we given the African perspective of issues or merely a way of projecting neo-colonial ideology?
Excerpts from the meeting.
A misrepresentation of the facts.
Africa has been consistently misrepresented for generations. In the area of science, technology and arts, the names of Africans inventors, scientist and professionals have been deliberately ommited and their european and American counterparts projected as the pillars of world inventions.Dr. Ivan Van Sertima, a distinguished historian gives some insight into the African global impact:
He asserts-"Medical procedures like the caesarian section originally were performed better in Africa than in Europe. Significant fragments of old manuscripts had recodered volumes of complex medical procedures practised in africa before europeans had them . Scores of scholars from europe have plundered africa for its scientific innovations. Dr. Sertima says that most africans have lost a sense of the wholeness of thier history". We must also realise that the written form of literacy could be the reason for the wrong impressions of Africa. -Professor Absalom Mutere. Perhaps the best way to reconstruct the image of Africa is to have an African version of a media giant like Aljazeera.- Gem
Professor Ali Mazrui asserts that African contributions to world civilization has been so underestimated and denied that only a new Afrocentric approach can help to restore the balance. He adds that there is so much prejudice against people of African descent that only an Afrocentric approach could change their image globally.
We need more committed Africans who will be passionate about the African media structure. Mr. Ogochukwu Nweke talked about language register and advices the youth to use language well. He calls on us to put our heads together using media like facebook, twitter, blogging etc to convey the facts and make our voices heard. Mr. Emmanuel Bensah says that there should be greater private involvement in sponsiring positive news on positive african issues. The african youth is realising that the older generation failed and the time for young Africans to take the mantle is now.
Africans should realize that they are all stakeholders and partners in reconstucting the image of Africa globally.There are problems as is common in all societies but how come only African problems are highlighted the most. Are there no homeless, unemployed, hungry and poverty stricken people in other parts of the world? There are challenges but there are many great things happening on the continent as well. For example Africa's most populated nation Nigeria is taken an extremly bold step to fight corruption and financial misapprpriation. The Economic and Financial crimes commision (EFCC) is serious about tracking down fraud and financial mispractices.
Civil wars in west Africa has drastically reduced since Liberia bloody wars ended and a democratic regime was elected into office. Ther are stil some skirmishes in some few places. However, the region is not doing so badly in fostering peace and economic stability. Talk about the problems but don't make it seem as if there are no encouraging, motivating and inspiring Africans who are bringing enormous change to the continent.
Leadership challenges exist. but several nations around the continent are going throgh gradual transformational leadership. Africa needs a media of its own that truly projec t the cpontinent to Africans and the world. I believe that together we can build our own media empire inorder to give a balace view of issues.Lets start to patronize indiginous African magazines such as the new African and others that help project the information about Africa.
Your questions, comments and suggestions are very welcome on this blog.
By Joseph Foray jnr,
(Africanreality & the 42nd Generation)