The New Partnership For Africa’s Development (NEPAD),sensitization workshop for African Media Practitioners is underway in the capital city of Ethiopia, with a call on journalists. To be in forefront of promoting the continent’s development agenda particularly as it relates to agriculture.
“We for a long time suffers from communication gap.We have defined a communication strategy in solving this problem and one of the ways we wish to achieve this is through a sustain partnerships with the media”, NEPAD Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki told participants
The participants are drawn from various media organizations in Africa, communication experts, development partners and the civil society groups. The workshop is on how best to reporting on African Union/NEPAD agenda programmes.
“We need to own NEPAD, it is an African development programme, it’s success depends on all. So ownership is very important, ownership demands contribution and constructive engagements. New leaders are emerging in Africa and they have an agenda, a transformation agenda based on the fact that Africa is no longer interested on receiving aid, given the resources and the young population we have, aid is no longer important. What is important is harnessing those huge resources”, he added.
Mayaki however pointed out that the transformation agenda cannot be achieved without good governance, transparency and collaboration at national, regional and international levels, with the media playing central role in the process.
On her part a representative of the Kenyan based Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa(AGRA), Ann Mureithi, said the organisation feels that the media need to report more on agricultural development, in view of its importance.
According to her,“ AGRA think African media need to tell the success stories of progress being recorded in the sector. We want to partner with Journalists beyond Kenya and Ghana. There is the need for journalists to be part of the ongoing process in revolutionalising agriculture in the continent”.
Director of the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA),based in The Netherland, Michael Hailu, underscored the need for more agricultural trade within the continent, stressing that agriculture is also about business, technology, trade and getting relevant market information that will increase yields, income and create wealth for the farmers.
“Getting important message to the people is central. The media tends to focus much on famine and drought , they tends to emphasise too much on negativism, whereas great progress are being made. We hope this workshop will help change that attitude”, he said.
The theme of the workshop is,“Reflecting on Africa’s past and future”. It intends to highlights over the past 10 years, major developments that have taken place to advance the NEPAD agenda.