India and Africa media discuss partnership

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Suleiman Mustapha

Ahead of the second summit with India, Africa has made strong pitch for greater media exchanges to bridge the knowledge gap between the African media and their counterparts from India.

At an Editors forum in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, discussants, who were mostly editors from the African continent, engaged their counterparts from India to brainstorm on enhancing media engagement and synergies in order to build an Africa-India multi-dimensional media partnership.

Editor of Ghana’s flagship newspaper, The Daily Graphic and President of the Ghana Journalists Association, Mr Ransford Tetteh, emphasised the importance of South-South co-operation.

He noted that journalists around Africa, and in India, all have a common goal. "In media circles, whether you come from India or Arica, your task is to entertain, educate and inform," he said.

Mr Tettah stressed on the importance of all governments in Africa upholding the principles of media freedom.

"Even if you give food to your people, who don't have a voice to speak; the food may be available, but they don't have the voice to ask for it," he said.

To him, all countries including Africa and India need to work together to develop a media system that is free.

According to him, despite efforts at building strong ties between India and Africa, the media still have a weak understanding of each other, with few having correspondents who focus on the growing trade dynamics between the two regions.

“We need to understand ourselves in order to strengthen the needed partnership to combat the common challenge of poverty”, Mr Tetteh emphasised.

Speaking at symposium, Vivek Katju, Secretary with the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, said by bringing together leading media personalities of India and Africa ,the Symposium files critical gap in the interactive processes.

He said the Symposium would help to establish direct contacts between Indian media leading to partnerships which would significantly contribute to the addition in the knowledge of each other in all dimensions. "I believe that such direct contacts will prove vastly beneficial in fostering a greater understanding of each other," he said.

“There has been a long tradition of direct interaction between the leaderships of India and Africa. However, there has been a paucity of such contact in many other areas including academics and the world of the media,” Vivek Katju said.

“This has led to a certain element of our knowledge of each other coming to us through third quarters. This must change,” said the Indian official.

‘I feel that this symposium would help to establish direct contacts between our media leading to partnerships which would significantly contribute to the addition in our knowledge of each other in all dimensions,’ he said.

“The real challenge before our societies, economies and polities is to make our peoples fully equipped to deal with the demands of the modern post-industrial world so that they are able to live lives of dignity, respect and prosperity in the knowledge age,’ he said, adding that the media can play a critical role in this process.

Tarun Basu, the Director of India-Africa Connect observed that Africans and Indians a view each other largely through the prism of third-party reports produced by the Western news agencies.

He made the point when he referred to the “four-C prism”, namely “crises, conflict, controversy, and compassion”, through which stereotypes are perpetuated – both in India about Africa, and Africa about India.

The media symposium is expected to generate a set of recommendations for bolstering media linkages between India and Africa which will be presented to the leaders of India and Africa at the end of the summit on May 25.

The summit is expected to culminate in the Addis Ababa Declaration and the Africa-India Framework for Enhanced Cooperation which will map out the trajectory of the India-Africa engagement for the next few years. India hosted the first forum summit in April 2008.

 

  • 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