AU Pan-African radio, TV on cards

Jokonya said this when he briefed journalists after his return from the first ever AU Ministers of Information and Communication Conference, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, last week under the theme “Towards the Establishment of a Pan-African Radio and Television Channel”.

“Plans to establish an African Union Pan-African radio and television channel are on the cards,” Jokonya said.

He said the deliberations had a direct impact on the lives of all Africans, since they were directly linked to the consolidation of a common African conscience, the strengthening of common values and the acceleration of the African integration process.

Jokonya said participants at the conference reasserted their desire to provide the continent with a means of communication that would serve as a mechanism for fostering peace and security and enhancing Africa’s common agenda.

“All participants hailed the truly African nature of the initiative, emphasising the major role it will play in fostering and speeding up African integration,” he said.

“They agreed that the channel would be all-encompassing, covering general news, sports, culture, films and documentaries.”

Its objectives would be to promote a common vision among Africans for the building of the African unity and to promote an image of Africa which is different from that presented by foreign media.

Enabling Africa to face the challenges of globalisation and communication was also another objective.

With respect to languages of broadcast, Jokonya said it was agreed that the channel would use languages of regional scope, which include English, Arabic, Spanish, French and Swahili.

The minister said participants pointed out the need to safeguard the channel’s independence in respect of its economic management, organic structure and editorial line.

“Participants showed concern about the constitution and rules of procedure of the channel, with emphasis on the need to lay down an appropriate legal framework and specifications.

“”They recommended that a thorough study should be conducted on all aspects relating to this issue,” he said.

The conference was attended by delegations of 36 member states, 12 of which were headed by Ministers of Information and Communication. ‘ New Ziana.

June 2006
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