Representations of Africa - Media Can Help People be More Confident in Their Capacity
International television and news reporting would be advised to focus more on what works well in Africa and inspire future generations of the continent’s youth, according to Amobé Mévégué, a well known media figure.
For years, Mr Mévégué was a well known voice on Radio France International’s Africa service, which millions of persons listen to notably across French speaking West and Central Africa. But the industry which brought him success is also to blame for some negative portrayals of the continent and its peoples, he said.
“I have been spent the last twenty years meeting the people of Africa and I’ve found that there is a gap between the image that has been projected from Africa and the reality” Mr Mévégué, told capacity4dev during the 2010 European Union Development Days.
Africa could be the world’s richest continent but the region is beset by numerous attention-grabbing environmental, health and conflict-based crises.
“What African children have as a representation of Africa is bad. They need to build their self-esteem, to go forward and to be confident about what they can do,” said Mr Mévégué. “The media have a major role to play.”
According to Mr Mévégué, moderating the 'Small and Medium Enterprises - Motor of Development' event at the EU Development Days 2010, the media need to focus on what works well and African small and medium enterprises are a perfect example.
People running small and medium enterprises “are the common people who are impacting the most on the continent,” he said. “At the event I chaired, I was touched by this young lady entrepreneur from Kenya (see related story here) who embodied the whole continent. We need to show these good examples to future generations.”
“We don’t talk about African capacity of sharing good energies that can have an impact,” Mr Mévégué went on. “African people can raise their own positive capacity that can change their lives.”
Born in Cameroon and but raised in France from the age of five, Mr Mévégué has been presenting and producing programmes on international French speaking radio stations and TV channels for the last 20 years. He is also very active in written press and TV production and recently has become increasingly involved in development work on the continent.
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