The launch of the Agenda 2063 Media Network in Johannesburg saw the NEPAD Agency and the African Union Commission come together with the media, partner organisations and communication practitioners around one common goal. The goal is that of creating a collective and shared sense of ownership of Africa’s strategic vision, Agenda 2063, under The Africa We Want campaign.
Through Agenda 2063, Africans aspire that by 2063 the continent should be prosperous, with the means and resources to drive its own development. It should be a continent in which its people have a high standard of living, and quality of life, with good health, and education.
One of the first steps then, to be taken towards building The Africa We Want, is that for the 1.2 billion people currently living in Africa, there needs to be broad ownership and mobilisation for this continental agenda. This is where the media and the role played by effective communication and advocacy plays a strong and valuable part.
The work of the Agenda 2063 Media Network and The Africa We Want campaign will therefore go a long towards fostering more accountable leadership and responsive institutions in transforming our countries and regions.
During a media briefing, Dr Ibrahim Mayaki, CEO of the NEPAD Agency stated that, “On a continental level, a number of strides towards meeting the goals of Agenda 2063 are indeed being made, for instance through the work that has already started with the high speed rail, which will incrementally see the continent’s capital cities linked to one another, easing the free movement of people, services and trade.”
“Other examples include two historical milestones that took shape this year, the Single African Air Transport Market that was launched in January in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and more recently, the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement signed last month in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital, that will see Africa have the world’s largest trade zone,” Dr Mayaki said.
Kate Skinner, Executive Director of the South African National Editors’ Forum brought to the fore the importance of free and independent media to inform ordinary citizens as well as change-makers is crucial to the achievement of the goals and aspirations of Agenda 2063.
Leslie Richer, Director of Information and Communication at the African Union Commission set the scene for Agenda 2063 Media Network’s work through an orientation session on Agenda 2063. She stated that, “Agenda 2063 is a continuation of the Pan African drive, over centuries, for self-determination, freedom, progress and collective prosperity.”
The goal of the Agenda 2063 Media Network and The Africa We Want campaign is to increase coverage and news outreach with regards milestones made towards realising the goals of Agenda 2063, in all the different regions of Africa, explained Mwanja Ng’anjo, NEPAD Agency’s Senior Communications Officer. She reiterated that the continental visions’ goals and aspirations cannot be met without the participation of well-informed citizens, which is where media practitioners prove to be key, by using their strong voice as influencers.
The launch was attended by over 50 participants that included media practitioners from all the different regions of Africa, communications representatives from the South African Institute of International Affairs, UN Women, Pan African Parliament, African Peer Review Mechanism, Pan African Parliament, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, FAO, GIZ and South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation.
Participants at the launch signed a commitment through which they agreed to take ownership and promote The Africa We Want media campaign through: Creating common understanding and shared ownership of Agenda 2063 among African journalists across the continent; Strengthening capacities of African journalists to work together in generating up-to-date coverage on the implementation progress of Agenda 2063; and Increasing news and media outreach on milestones made towards realising the goals of Agenda 2063 in the different regions of the continent.
Source: NEPAD Agency