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Forum to promote African media landscape opens in Accra

A three-day forum to promote the development of the media landscape in Africa has been opened in Accra, yesterday.
Dubbed, ‘African Media Convention (AMC),’ the event is a collaborative effort by African media stakeholders to reflect, among other issues, the fundamental role of journalism on the continent as well as financing of media organisations.


The 3rd edition of the forum is on the theme: “The African media we want: Enhancing freedom, innovation and environmental sustainability in a dynamic media landscape.”
The event brought together media owners and managers as well as media practitioners from across Africa, including Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
It is being organised by the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) in partnership with the Ministry of Information, African Union (AU), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the International Fund for Public Interest Media.
Topics to be discussed include Disability equality in media: Exploring new audiences, customers, and users, AI and the media in Africa, Empowering female journalists in digital security training, Capacity building on access to information and safety of journalists.
Opening the event yesterday, Albert Kwabena Dwumfour, President of GJA, said the convention was a fast-growing platform that would generate a coalition of ideas, support systems, and actors to shape the future of media in Africa and hopefully around the world.
“It is important to state that the AMC is a fast-growing platform that I believe will generate a coalition of ideas, support systems, and actors to shape the future of media in Africa and hopefully around the world,” he stated.
Mr Dwumfour described Ghana as one of Africa’s fast-growing conference destinations, citing the World Press Freedom Day celebration and several ECOWAS and AU heads of state summits as examples.
He stated that the conference would discuss how to promote a positive African narrative globally and how to combat misinformation on the continent’s social media platforms.
“It will focus attention on how to combat misinformation on the continent’s social media platforms, especially in the face of threats to democracy,” Mr Dwumfour said.
Discussing new models for financing media organisations, Kwaku Owusu Preprah, a journalist with the Multimedia Group, called for innovative approaches in funding public-interest contents that would support the growth and development of the continent.
He reiterated the need for media organisations to work together in dealing with financial impairment that was impeding the development of public-interest stories.
Although critical for sustainability, he warned of collaborations which could make media organisations susceptible to influence that would not be in the public’s interest.
Dr Edith Dankwa, Chief Executive of the Business and Financial Times (B&FT) newspaper, called for the implementation of cost-cutting measures and use of technology to keep media organisations afloat in the face of global economic challenges.
Thel Sowa, Independent Advisor, noted of the challenges affecting the media saying that the current issues had been spurred by rise in technology and social media as well as stagnant financing models for media organisations.
Dr Francis Sowah, National Coordinator, Media Reform Coordinating Group (MRCG), urged for the institution of proper governance and management structures for media organisations
This, he said, was essential in driving the strategic direction that would make media organisations efficient and sustainable.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is expected to close the convention tomorrow at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC).

BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS

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