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The AUB and the TRT held unprecedented Broadcasting Summit in Istanbul

From March 28 to April 2, 2023, tens of media professionals gathered in Türkiye, discussed the role of the Media in international relations.

No sooner have they said goodbye than the organizers of the 1st AUB - TRT Media Summit are already looking towards the 2nd edition scheduled for 2024. It is an appointment that will now have to be noted in the diaries.

The summit which has just ended in Istanbul will have sustained attention both by the mobilization and by the level of debates. Students, Ministers, Ambassadors accredited to the Republic of Türkiye, academics, Directors General, experts, journalists, technicians, and other media professionals have, for almost a week, reviewed the relations between Africa, Türkiye, and the rest of the world; all under the prism of broadcasters.


After Networking sessions, the Summit opened properly on March 30, 2023, at the Hilton Bophorus hotel in Istanbul with a workshop on "International Journalism". From the outset, Hasan Abdullah, the TRT's diplomatic correspondent in charge of the workshops, set the course for the programme: “We are not here to teach journalists what they already master. Through this workshop, we encourage the sharing of experiences,” he stressed. For nearly 08 hours, the participants dwelled on issues as varied as "The role of the media in international relations", "Journalism and delusions of grandeur", "Perspectives of an impartial journalism", "Media and public: relationship, expectations and reality”, “The media as a political actor”, “Responsibility of the media”, “Perspectives and possibilities”.

At the end of the workshop, the Chief Executive Officer of the Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation, Ayub Rioba noted that: “People are interested in what’s going on in our countries. But we must not let others rule our consciences when it comes to information processing.” The President Director General of Afrimedia International, Constant Nemale, who is also CEO of Africa 24 Media Group is of the view that, “no one else can better tell the story of Africans than Africans themselves”.

Spotlight on the continent

The 2nd Phase of the Summit was dedicated to the launching of “TRT Afrika” and discussions in panels. During a very popular ceremony, the Organizing Committee presented an “African Proverbs Performance”. In the same light, the OC displayed a video of TRT Africa, Türkiye’s new platform devoted to providing content on Africa in four languages: Swahili, English, French and Hausa. In the process, 24 journalists from around twenty countries received certificates of participation on “International Journalism”.

In his opening speech, the Chief Executive Officer of the AUB, Grégoire Ndjaka praised the cooperation between the TRT and the AUB, while expressing his gratitude to the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan as well as the government of the Republic of Türkiye which, in the past, had provided unfailing support to the people of Africa.

Professor Mehmet Zahid Sobacı, Director General of TRT, welcomed the unprecedented cooperation between AUB and TRT. In his opening remarks, he promised to present "Africa as it is", through the new TRT Afrika platform. For his part, the Director of Communication of the Presidency of the Republic of Türkiye, Fahrettin Altun, described the cooperation between his country and Africa as a model of partnership based on the "win-win" principle. Professor Altun gave a brief reminder of Türkiye’s close relations with African countries over the past 20 years under President Erdogan.

60,000 African students in Türkiye

The afternoon of March 31 was devoted to panel discussions. During the 2nd session dedicated to the future of public service broadcasting in the era of emerging technologies and new media, the panelists underlined the need for broadcasters to go digital if they want to survive. They presented the pros and cons of using the platforms as well as the manner in which the challenges can be addressed.

In the session dedicated to Africa – Türkiye Relations in the mirror of the Public Service Media, panelists recalled that since 2005, Türkiye has initiated relationships with Africa in a win-win partnership. History between the two peoples dates to the 9th century with the arrival of the Ottomans; a thousand-year relationship, they said. Figures were also mentioned to underline the weight of this cooperation. These are indeed 44 ambassadors present in Africa, 40 billion dollars in commercial exchange and 60,000 African students present in Türkiye. Military cooperation between Türkiye and Africa is done through Soft Power. In addition, Türkiye is a strategic member of the African Union. Before closing the discussions, the experts insisted on the need for the media to shape consciences. They also pleaded for a co-production partnership between AUB and TRT.

Content exchange

April 1rst was dedicated to the immersion session within the TRT World. Alongside CEOs, journalists discussed with their Turkish peers the processing of information in a context marked by competition and the dazzling development of artificial intelligence. The AUB emissaries invited TRT World to join the AUB’s platform of content exchange (AUBVision) which has a important database on the continent regarding news and TV programs.

Irene GAOUDA on Special Assignment, Istanbul

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