Re-branding Africa for a brighter future

Read on Africa Interactive, September 19, 2006, Media workers and government officials have gathered in Ghana for Africa’s International Media Summit. The summit aims to improve the world’s perceptions of the continent and encourage further development. Delegates will discuss ways of re-branding Africa for a brighter future and enhance development. Messan Mawugbe, chief Executive Officer of Centre for Media Analysis, said that there had to be a conscious and determined effort to tackle the major factors contributing to the negative impressions of the Continent and to present it in a more positive light.

Negative image: The Summit, running from 18 till 20 September, will be held every year for five years. The African Communications Agency (ACA) is organizing the event, with the support of the African Union and other regional development groups. Mawugbe said in spite of establishing a new Africa through initiatives like NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa’s Development), many issues negatively affected the image of Africa, which were mostly portrayed by the international media.

He said though the continent could not be divorced from issues like wars, fledgling democracies, health epidemics and environmental hazards, the media had a role to portray these in a proper light through adequate dissemination and management of information.

Developing a framework: African media workers and development experts will be joined by representatives from international media groups such as CNN and the BBC. The summit is aimed at developing a framework which effectively project a balanced Africa to the overreaching global community and which brands the various African countries. This re-branding is to serve as a new bridge of dialogue between Africa and the entire world. One of the key objectives of the Summit is the development of a watch-group to monitor and create awareness of reporting on African images and that has to manage this awareness in the international media. Another goal is to set the first steps in creating a Pan African Broadcasting Station. (Read on Africa Interactive).

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