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Mohammed J. Al Rayssi: «The United Arab Emirates is building a very strong relationship with Africa»

«The UAE is building a very strong relationship with Africa», said Mr. Mohammed Jalal Al Rayssi, Director General of the Emirates News Agency and Chairman of the Global Media Congress Organizing Committee.

What are the challenges facing the Media Industry and what are you addressing during the 2nd Media Congress?

One of the challenges we are addressing - and it was clearly highlighted in all sessions- is the arrival of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the advantage we can take of it. It is a challenge and also an opportunity for the media industry. It is good to have people ready to work for the next generation of the media. For us to be ready to tackle the future of the media, we need to prepare the younger generation!

This Media Congress is a good place to share different information and update ourselves, mostly at this time of disinformation! It is important to have connections with different media outlets with different experiences. With the Global Media Congress today, we can see how important it is to bring people together and share experiences about the technologies that we have and to agree on what we can do together. The best thing in the Global Media Congress is that we have people from every parts of the world, talking to each other, trying to communicate, trying to learn from each other. This will help us a lot in the development of the Media Sector and our organizations as well. As life is changing, the media industry is also changing and we have to be ready for that.

How can you assess the cooperation between Africa and the Emirates (Media Cooperation)?

The UAE is building a very strong relationship with Africa. This Congress is also a good opportunity for African countries to come and see what’s going on. Today, we are glad to have representatives from Africa at the Global Media Congress because Africa has a lot of experience in different areas and there are many projects on which we can work together.

We are missing some of our colleagues from Africa. (Those invited but couldn’t make it). This is the opportunity for us to invite more to the next edition that will hold from 26 to 28 november 2024. We are already working with young journalists and student journalists on capacity-building and we will try to have more activities including training during the 2024 edition.

How many agreements have been reached between the Media and Technological Enterprises?

There is a great number of MoU that have been signed with most of the news agencies present at this event. I’m very glad that this platform is providing such services to our partners. This is one of the good successes we had from last year, this year it has increased and Inch'Allah next year, God willing, we will have it more stronger.

With the advent of AI, Deep Fakes and Fake News pose a growing threat to the profession. What can we do to resist?

It is important for the media in general, not only for news agencies, to be quick in response but also with credibility, because sometimes we have a lot of misleading information. There is no chance to wait, so we have to be quick in response and we are trying to take advantage of new technologies to verify information and make it easier and reachable to the population. I think people now know exactly where to have the right information. I remember, in the era of Covid19, people were looking for ethics worthy and trustworthy news agencies and media outlets to get the right information on the desease. That is a clear message they are sending out. People want to have accurate information in due time and we need to be quick in our response so that they will always rely on us.

Interviewed by Irene GAOUDA

Illustration: Hitcham ATTMANE, Mamadou M. SOUARE

On Special Assignment in Abu Dhabi.


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