“Change the Narrative”: Adesina calls on media to showcase Africa’s true potential

10 May, 2024 - 17:05 0 Views
“Change the Narrative”: Adesina calls on media to showcase Africa’s true potential Dr Akinwumi Adesina

eBusiness Weekly

Enacy Mapakame

Dr Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has called on the media to champion the economic transformative story of the African region, portraying a positive sentiment that can attract investment and bolster growth.

Dr Adesina said this on Thursday in a keynote speech to the All Africa’s Media summit in Nairobi attended by nearly 300 participants from across the continent. He praised the crucial role the media plays in strengthening democracy and advancing inclusivity.

The bank president said there were many positive developments in Africa yet the continent continues to suffer misrepresentations which undermine its economic progress and investment potential.

“Despite the significant progress within our continent, the prevailing media narrative often focuses on negative stereotypes, overlooking the substantial advancements and resilience Africa demonstrates,” he added.

Dr Adesina said there was plenty of positive news to report about and highlighted the continent’s economic resilience regionally and amid global challenges. He said that in 2023, Africa’s growth rate surpassed the global average, with 11 African nations ranked among the world’s fastest-growing economies.

Dr Adesina referenced a 2021 Africa No Filter Report, which revealed significant adherence to outdated and negative clichés in media reports about Africa.

“It’s time for change,” he declared. “We must reshape the narrative about Africa to reflect its true spirit and potential.”

He emphasised the critical nature of information and its ability to have a profound negative impact on development and investor perceptions despite an in-depth investigation by Moody’s Analytics showing the continent was much less of a risk than many other continents.

“We must promote a balanced view that highlights both the challenges and the many successes of Africa. It’s about changing perceptions and showcasing Africa as a continent rich with opportunity and innovation.”

He also spoke about the challenges and transformations within the media sector, highlighting the impact of digital technology.

“The media landscape has dramatically shifted with the rise of the internet and mobile technology, leading to a proliferation of digital platforms,” Dr Adesina declared.

“While this has democratised information, it has also complicated issues, the distinction between fact and fiction can become blurred.”

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