Africa: A Pan-African Media to Reshape the Continent’s Global Image


There is an urgent demand for Africa to have its own media for the purpose of face negotiation, rebranding itself and connecting Africa together in all core endeavors of the spirit and dimensions of Africanism. It’s a high time for Africa to take an inward looking perspective for prosperity and voicing dealing with African issues in African way, according to sources.

It is stated that Africa has gone through uncountable struggles on the ground to emancipate itself from invaders of various forms, most interestingly, both direct and indirect. Even after independence, African nations have gone through dividing political ideologies as a result of the dictations of their former western colonizers in the name of compensation, aid, development or care taking endeavors. These have been at the expense of Pan-Africanism spirit, African nation building process, crafting African nations’ brotherhood with the content and salience of Africanism.

No one deny the fact that the continent of Africa which is a home of over a billion of people has sustained without its own media since long back. Needless to say Africa has to have an influential, holistic and impartial media serving all member states on an equal footing. It should be borne in mind that at the 35th ordinary Session of the AU Assembly, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) laid the emphasis on Africa’s media representation on a worldwide scale.

It is learnt that Africa is often portrayed in the international media negatively. The endless representation as a continent troubled by civil wars, hunger, corruption, greed, disease and poverty is demeaning and dehumanizing and likely driven by a calculated strategy and agenda.

The African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat on his part said that AU is committed to realizing the proposal of PM Abiy to own a Pan-African media that is necessary to perform various tasks.

It is discovered thatthe interference of the former colonizers of Africa in terms injecting western political ideologies did not help Africa to move forward to brand its pleasant face to the world and engage itself in development efforts in African way. Rather, Africa is considered synonymous to a continent of famine, war, drought and conflict. This mischaracterization of Africa should be stopped by Africans’ engagement to avert the causes, taking inward looking perspective to deal with African issues.

It is added that Africa should be engaged in a new version of Pan-Africanism collectively in all dimensions. It has to say no to foreign adopted political and development ideologies in the spirit of Pan-Africanism to portray its real face, rebrand its actual identity in a collective manner connecting Africa together. Media is one of the war fronts for this cause. It is vital to remind the power of media in this ‘fight’ given the current western media abuses in reporting African issues. Added to these, it is significant to think of Pan-African media to air African views and connect Africans together to craft sense of African union and brotherhood.

No doubt, media is power and it is a cohesive apparatus to glue society, culture and the continent Africa together. Healthy interaction among these parties is important in political and socio-economic discourse among citizens in a given political map. As a tool of mass communication, media is pivotal to entertaining contending political ideologies and at the same time work for continental integration and social cohesion in the same. It is also a vital machine in enlightening societies and in the attempt to create democratic culture and peaceful social co-existence in the continent.

It is possible to change the world’s view of Africa by establishing a Pan-Africa media house and providing accurate and verifiable information about the continent, according to an expert in the field.

It is recalled that speaking to The Ethiopian Herald, Dilla University Journalism and Communication Lecturer Alebel Guangul stated that the proposed Pan-Africa media is crucial to provide accurate news and information about Africa and share its narratives thereby countering misrepresentation of facts.

As long as responding to every story presented by the international media about Africa is impossible, establishing a continental outlet is indispensable.

By establishing their own media houses like Press TV, Turkish Radio and Television (TRT), Russia Today (RT), countries like Iran, Turkey, and Russia respectively have been able to communicate the world of their own reality and change the negative narratives of the corporate media.

It is possible to change the world’s view of Africa by establishing a Pan-Africa media and reports about its untapped natural resources, the vision and aspiration of Africans for development, their culture, interests and others. It is important to build a continental media that is independent, free from any influences, and that is competitive.

All member states of the African Union (AU) have to work to bring this idea to execution, and need to make the issue their main agenda. Also, African leaders should capitalize on every opportunity to promote the idea.

Though the continent has been inundated with a plethora of natural resources that can take the entire world to the next level of development, they have been time and again preoccupied with blackening the positive images of Africa. They hate to death reporting the truth about the continent.

In actual fact, Africa has been a victim of the discredited media outlets’ bogus stories. As they have been spewing negative information about Africa as if it is a dark continent known for its backwardness hunger, and other negative things, the attitude towards the continent has been negative. In consideration of the foregoing, the positive image of Africa in several instances has been heart breaking.

In recent times, speaking to The Ethiopian Press Agency (EPA), Addis Ababa University Journalism and Communication Assistant Professor Abdissa Zerai (PhD) stated that building a professional and independent continental media requires the active involvement of African leaders.

The establishment of a Pan-African media entails immense resources, trained professionals and advanced technology African leaders have to make concrete engagement to translate the vision into a reality. It is common for African leaders to make similar claims, but in practice most African countries are reluctant to play their part. The idea that Africa should have its own media is not new.