Ghana President urges African journalists to change image of continent

“What is written about Africa by African writers must have the ultimate reference status.” Image courtesy: Blogger

African journalists have been urged to help change the image of Africa from Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo.

He said on Monday that African media practitioners have faced many challenges and as a result, the narrative has been shaped and told by foreign journalists through their own lenses and words, with the projection of Africa often being about war, disease, poverty and famine.

Addressing the three-day Bloomberg Africa Business Media Innovators Summit in Accra, Akufo-Addo said so long as there is widespread poverty and inequality, that would be the image that was going to be portrayed, Xinhua reported..

“This means that you, our writers, our journalists from the continent, the writers of the African story, carry a great responsibility. When you write, what you write must be about the limitless possibilities on the continent,” he said.

“What is written about Africa by African writers must have the ultimate reference status,” Akufo-Addo added.

He stressed that African writers played remarkable roles in the liberation of the continent from imperialism, and thereby set the tone for the discourse about the identity of Africans, adding that it is now for business and financial journalists to set the tone for the economic development and prosperity of Africa.

“When our young people do not see a future in their countries, and cross the Sahara desert on foot and drown in the Mediterranean Sea in a desperate bid to reach the mirage of a better life in Europe, no amount of beautiful lyrics will change our image,” he bemoaned.

More than 100 senior executives, entrepreneurs and thought-leaders from media, business and civil society have gathered in Accra for the summit to discuss the changing face of media and new hybrid models.