|The African Media Initiative (AMI) has taken the difficult decision of postponing the 7th African Media Leaders Forum, which was due to take place from November 12-14th 2014 in Johannesburg, South Africa. This action is a result of much debate by the AMI board and management, and is informed by current developments on the continent.
As part of precautionary measures to prevent the entry of the Ebola virus into South Africa, the Department of Health last week issued a travel advisory for travelers, especially those coming from affected countries.
The AMLF is a Pan-African event with approximately half of the delegates coming from West Africa. The current travel advisory, and the bleak outlook provided by international medical agencies, including Medécins Sans Frontières (MSF) and the World Health Organization (WHO), has forced this postponement.
“The AMLF is about networking, discussing ideas and finding new and joint solutions to problems that plague the African media sector. We cannot take the risk of half of our core constituents being left out of the conversation”, said Event Director Maimouna Jallow.
Nevertheless, AMI remains committed to organizing what is the largest gathering of media owners and leaders on the African continent. The event will now take place in November 2015, in South Africa. All other AMI programs remain unaffected.
“Since its inception, AMI has supported media owners and leaders jointly address the issues facing the media sector, be it lack of revenue and audience data or digital migration, “said AMI Chief Executive Officer, Eric Chinje. “We remain committed to this mandate, and will be launching a series of new programs in the coming months, in order to solidify our position as a continental platform through which the needs of the African media can be met”.
This year’s AMLF would have seen the incorporation of many new and exciting elements, including:
▪ Training workshops for journalists and media owners
▪ An African Media Market Place for organizations to showcase their work
▪ Awards to recognize excellence in the profession
▪ Screening sessions followed by discussions with film directors
▪ Cartoon gallery on hate speech in Africa.
In a year marking 20 years since the end of Apartheid and since the Rwandan genocide, AMI, with the support of key partners, also launched on August 20th a Pan-African online campaign aimed at lending its voice to efforts to put an end to hate speech on the continent. This campaign will continue and grow over the next year, culminating in an extensive report to be shared at AMLF 2015.
AMI would like to reiterate that it stands in solidarity with those affected by the Ebola epidemic, and will continue to use its extensive media networks to support governments and people to fight this crisis. To this end, we encourage our members to join the open call to action against Ebola launched yesterday and led by prominent Africans.
|The African Media Initiative is the continent’s largest umbrella association of African media owners, senior executives and other industry stakeholders. AMI’s mandate is to serve as a catalyst for strengthening African media by building the tools, knowledge resources and technical capacity for African media to play an effective public interest role in their societies. This mandate includes assisting with the development of professional standards, financial sustainability, technological adaptability and civic engagement.