5th Forum on China-Africa Media Cooperation: 2012 - 2022
PRESENTATION OF THE
AUB’s CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Mr GREGOIRE NDJAKA
His Excellency Mister HUANG Kunming, Minister of Publicity Department of Central Committee;
His Excellency Mister MOUSSA Faki Mahamat, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission ;
His Excellency Mister XU Lin, Minister of the National Radio and Television Administration of the People’s Republic of China ;
Distinguished Ministers and Ambassadors ;
Dear colleagues ;
On behalf of the 73 Member Organizations of the African Union of Broadcasting, in the name of the AUB’s President of the Executive Council, Mr. Arthur Asiimwe, and in my own name, I would like to welcome you to the 5th Forum on the China –Africa Media Cooperation.
Before getting started, let me first of all begin by expressing my sincere gratitude to the Government of the People’s Republic of China in general and the National Radio and Television Administration (NRTA), in particular, for their trust in the AUB to co-host this Paramount and Timely Event.
The 5th edition of the Forum on China – Africa Media Cooperation is held in a special context.
1- This year marks the 10th Anniversary of the Forum
2- The Forum is held at a moment when the sanitary situation due to the Covid-19 Pandemic is still prevailing, thus obliging us to meet virtually.
Ladies and Gentlement,
Since my first mandate as the Chief Executive Officer of the AUB, we have been continuously supportive of the China – Africa radio and television exchanges and cooperation.
In 2016 and 2018, the National Radio Television Administration and the AUB have jointly organized two sessions on China –Africa Media Forum. Though the Covid-19 Pandemic did not permit us to meet physically in 2020, we altogether succeeded in organizing online debates to discuss issues of common concern. More recently, on July 29, 2022, the AUB Delegation headed by its Chief Executive Officer was granted an audience by His Excellency Mr Xiao HAN, the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China in Senegal. During the audience, the two parties discussed topics relating to the development of the Media industry in Africa and the contribution of his country, China.
Our constant participation in the Forum is proof, if it were still needed, that despite the geographic distance, we defend common values such as mutual understanding, collaboration, sharing, improvement of the living conditions of our fellow citizens through our Media organizations.
Ladies and Gentlemen
When the very-first edition of the China – Africa Media Cooperation Forum was launched ten years back, little did we know that it was going to be such a thrilling and sustainable adventure !
The firmness of the various Organizing Committees added to the quality of guests have always been an asset to the viability of the event.
We still have in mind the 2012 Forum. Held under the theme : « Exchange, Cooperation and Development », the first edition brought together African Ministers in charge of Information and Communication, high level media representatives from radio and TV Channels and Media Experts. Speaking on behalf of African Governments, the former Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr Jean Ping underlined that year, the role of the Media in socio-political changes in Africa. He pointed out the struggle for democracy and governance that led to the popular uprisings in some African regions as he called on Media professionals to continue playing their role as watch-dog of the society. Throughout the years, the Forum has cristalized attentions on the world stage.
Ladies and Gentlemen ;
Ten years today and still counting, it is our pleasure to give credit to this strong collaboration.
The Sino-Africa media collaboration has grown to be one of the bests Africa has known so far. This can be seen from the various media capacity building projects China has been carrying out on the continent for the benefit of our Media professional. Each year we witness grant opportunities offered to our populations by China.
As part of the program intended to expose African journalists to chinese culture and lifestyle, tens of groups of journalists from across the continent travel regularly to China. Some of them have the privilege to attend important summits on economy and trade fairs such as the China International Fair for Investment and trade, the Beijing Auto Show, the China Import and Export Fair and many others.
With the aim of enhancing friendship and cooperation between China and the rest of the continent, 45 African journalists and information officers from English-speaking countries travelled to China in 2015, where they attended seminars as part of a foreign aid program initiated by the Chinese Government.
Through the China Africa Press Center, journalists from South Africa, Tunisia, Tanzania, the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Angola Mozambique, Nigeria and Egypt have been able to immerse themselves in China, to meet with the people, acquire linguistic skills, learn their culture and get familiar to their political landscape.
Furthermore, China initiated many social projects for the benefit of African populations during the Forum on China –Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) staged in South Africa while ago, sponsored by the Government.
Ladies and Gentlemen
Through partners like Startimes, even the most remote African home has access to quality and quantity media content. As we all know, the Beijing-based Group has become one of the Africa’s most important content distribution with more than 10 million subscribers across 30 countries. Startimes is present almost everywhere on the continent working on major cultural and sporting events thanks to strong cooperation ties between our two people.
The China radio in Senegal (Radio Chine International) for instance, has joined Africans in telling their stories in a compelling manner without controversies.
The presence of Media Groups like CMG, Xinua, CCTV in countries like Ghana, Cameroon, Kenya, etc is a proof of the solid collaboration between our two people as these and many more of the projects are highly appreciated by the Africans stakeholders like the AUB.
Ladies and Gentlemen
As we look forward in fostering a new vision to this cooperation, at the AUB, we believe that more momentum has to be given to this collaboration for the development of other technical projects for the benefit of the media industry.
The AUB has engaged in the construction of its training center on media professions. It is our profound wish to see China join hands with us in making this professional milieu, a center of excellence in the African media industry.
Furthermore, the exchange of content and news between Africa and China has to be promoted. The AUB’s Network of news and content exchange who has shifted from Senegal to Algeria is a mega tool to be exploited by China and Africans.
This network will serve as a true instrument in knowing each other better far from all foreign prisms. Africans will share their stories and vice versa.
Capacity building of professionals in various domains like climate change and migration reporting, media literacy are topics of common interest that can be developed subsequently.
The switch from analogue to digital remains a major challenge of African broadcasters.
It is our strong wish at the AUB to keep up the work started 10 years ago with our friends from China.
Ladies and Gentlemen
The institutional capacity of the media needs to be reinforced. This has always being our advocacy. We need to educate particularly the youths in order to solve problems like tha sharing of fake news and cyber criminality. We need to support media cooperation, encourage media networking and media development, as well as capacity building in the field of journalism which remains a key factor to tell our stories and in fostering the development agenda in our continents.
As I move towards the end of this address, let me make few proposals
1. Embark on a well structured capacity building program, which entails, training, to infrastructure development and institutional building.
2. Enhance Industrialization through Transfer technology (swift from analog to digital)
3. Cooperation in digitalization
Thank you for your kind attention!