News and Views
Arguing for Africa’s Media Sector in London
London Africa Media Network and Royal Africa society presented ‘Arguing a Business Case for Sustainability and Independence’, the third in a series on Africa Media Development at SOAS. The panel was chaired by Eric Chinje of Mo Ibrahim Foundation.
The panel was chaired by Eric Chinje, Director for Strategic Communications, Mo Ibrahim Foundation and Co-founder of the Africa Media Initiative and speakers included James Crampton, Diageo Africa’s Head of Communication, Omar Ben Yedder, Group Publisher, IC Publication and Gemma Ware, Assistant Editor, The Africa Report.
Increased liberalisation and private investment into Africa’s media sector over the last decade has meant that there are now more privately owned newspapers, radio and television stations than ever before. The continent’s media is also enjoying a growing audience – whether it’d be radio listeners, newspaper readers or internet and mobile phone users.
Driven by the young, educated, and internet-savvy, these new audiences are interested in receiving independent news and reliable information. However, there is still a gap in the industry, due to restricted funding, limited resources and individual countries’ stringent regulatory frameworks.
A scrutinising free press helps to promote democracy, good governance and socio-economic development. For the media sector to fully play its role in Africa’s economic, social and political development – and for the continent to develop its voice in the global stage – there is a need to improve the industry’s sustainability and its independence.
This event will bring together a panel of experts to tackle key questions and challenges affecting the growth of Africa’s media sector, including: How can we solve the funding gap between available capital and media businesses? Will more private investment bring more freedom and independence or do commercial interests threaten objective journalism? What is the impact of technology and new media and how can this counter censorship? What are the best business models for becoming sustainable and staying independent? And why is it important to invest in local content and business reporting to help change the narrative on Africa?
London Africa Media Network (LAMN) is a media for development organisation whose focus is to lobby for a stronger representation of Africa Media in the globe.
The company is built on a strong belief that Africa Media, through objective reporting and representation, is critical to Africa’s human, political and social Development. Founded in 2005, LAMN brings to the fore, the hitherto underplayed African perspective on global issues.