- East Africa Editors Association former president Churchill Otieno observed that media was set to benefit from the integration of the continent
- He said that integration would see Africa’s citizens develop common interest in economic and social affairs thus a larger audience for media establishments
- Larger audiences can translate to more revenue with proper strategy and this opportunity could also open more revenue doors for independent content creators
Africa is on course to unite as it seeks to seize its space in global conversations in aspirations and goals set out in Agenda 2023.
This is one of the key goals of Agenda 2063 which is the continent’s 50-year development blueprint that began to be implemented in 2013.
To achieve these goals, at least 46 African Union member states have signed and ratified the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement that was adopted in 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda, and came in to force in 2019.
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The main challenge however, remains to be the rigidity by majority states to ratify the free movement of people protocol that was subsequently adopted with AfCFTA.
AU Economic Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) acknowledged that limited publicity about Agenda 2063 was another challenge towards achieving set integration goals.
Media role in Africa’s integration
William Carew, Head of ECOSOCC Secretariat, while addressing editors in Nairobi, prevailed on the African media practitioners to play an active role in creating awareness about the agenda as it would benefit them too.
“The media plays a critical role in making Agenda 2063, its goals and aspirations known to the African citizens. Creating awareness will enable the people have public opinion and participate in making of policies that further advance integration. African are ready to unite but the leaders are not,” he said.
Churchill Otieno, Chairperson Africa Media Convention and immediate former Kenya Editors Guild president observed that the integration of the African continent in terms of trade and socially will be beneficial for media.
Africa’s media consumption
He explained that when African citizens integrate and get to learn about each other’s culture and develop new cultures, their interest becomes common.
“This would mean citizens across the continent will have common interests on social and economic issues and media can leverage on this audience and market by generating content that meets these needs,” said Otieno.
Larger audiences would mean more revenue and opportunity to grow for strategic media establishments.
With Otieno’s premise in place, it would mean that independent online content creators will also have an opportunity to enjoy wider audiences from across the continent.
Journalists on the other hand, raised concern saying they were being victimised at border points courtesy of their career because they are seen as they are on a mission to expose the wrongs taking place in different countries.
On the other hand, Kenyan editors have called for the public declaration of media owners as a way of safeguarding journalists’ content from undue influence.
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