India courts Africa Media

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By Emmanuel Mayah.

Pitched against China in a raging economic war, India is desperately wooing the media in Africa to help sell its messages as it tries to wrest trade turfs on the continent from its fiercest competitor. At the 2nd Africa-India Summit holding in Addis Ababa, the Indians earnestly began to build bridges using a symposium meant to foster good relationship between the African media and the Indian press.

Titled “India-Africa Media Partnership Symposium: Building Bridges”, it was a robust interaction of delegation of editors from India with their African counterparts.

Speaking at the occasion Siddharth Vardarajan, Associate Editor of The Hindu, said African-Indian media collaboration was a crucial process in achieving the much-sought paradigm shift in economic relationship.

He described it as lamentable that after a century of relationship, both India and Africa continue to get news about each other solely from a third party, the Western press.

Vardarjan regretted that, that reality is massively being exploited to perpetuate stereotypes and manipulate policies that benefit neither India nor Africa.

He said: “The sad reality is that India sees Africa through the prism of a third party just as Africa sees India through the eyes of the Western media. The prism of the West show us only crisis, catastrophe and corruption; that is what India read about Africa just as Africa is inundated with news of disaster from India. It is what they tell us that we believe and it is what eventually shapes our perceptions of each other which sometimes are negative. This cannot be allowed to continue.”

In what could only have been an exercise in self-recrimination, the symposium revealed that just as the Indian media has no correspondents on the African continent, the African media has no presence in India.

Laying the foundation for a new collaboration, 20 African journalists were recently invited to India on a familiarization tour. Similarly 23 African parliamentarians travelled to India where they had useful exchange with top editors in that country.

Shortly afterwards, a group of Indian journalists was invited to Africa where they visited three parts of the continent.

A good example of the information gap between India and Africa was the disclosure that 400 Africans are currently playing professional soccer in India.

In her address, Ms Tumusiime Rhoda, AU’s Peace Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, stated that India and Africa are engaged in the important struggle to eliminate poverty and uplift their people.

The real challenge, she pointed out, is for the two peoples to be fully equipped to deal with the demands of the modern post-industrial world “so that our people are able to live lives of dignity and respect. Here the media in India and Africa has a role to play.”

Some of the journalists present at the occasion were Ransford Tetteh, the Editor, Daily Graphic, Ghana; Richard Mgamba of Tanzania; Maya Mirchandani of India; Christiane Lenzo Nga of DRC; Lazaro Alfredo Manhica of Mozambique; Ashok Tanksala of India; Tequest Tilma of Ethiopia; Motlasepula Boitshwarelo Mokgadi of Botswana and Zingisa Mkhuma of South Africa

 

  • Africa-India Summit
  • Africa-India Summit
  • Africa-India Summit
  • Africa-India Summit
  • Africa-India Summit
  • Africa-India Summit
  • Africa-India Summit
  • Africa-India Summit
  • Africa-India Summit
  • Africa-India Summit