Media forum set for Johannesburg

The forum, which is expected to attract approximately 50 participants from the region, seeks to hear the views of sub-national, national and sub-regional information, communication and media actors, across a broad spectrum.

The meeting is also aimed at looking into the possibility of establishing a Southern African Media Development Forum. Other expected outcomes include the formulation of policy positions on media development in Southern Africa and a comprehensive report from the discussion that will be used by media organisations in the region in follow-up activities.

The meeting will ensure that specific country, sub-regional and special interest perspectives are taken into account in developing a “Strategic Framework for Strengthening Media in Africa” that will make the case for enhanced investment in media.

The strategic document will, in turn, provide the basis for an African Stakeholder Conference, to be held in September 2006, to discuss and agree on immediate as well as medium and longer-term priorities that should attract financing. The meeting is also an opportunity for Southern Africa media practitioners and support organisations to give their suggestions in relation to an African Forum for Media Development (AFMD).

“Strengthening Africa’s Media (STREAM)” is a consultation process aimed at providing a platform for African media actors, in collaboration with their support partners, to articulate concerns and perspectives, identify priority issues and areas requiring support, and propose concrete initiatives and programmes towards a strengthened media sector. Supported by the Open Society and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), among others, the process coincides with renewed engagement around media development in Africa. One of these is the formation of an African Forum for Media Development (AFMD), as one of the regional pillars of the emerging Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD). GFMD and STREAM are co-operating to tap into the convergences offered by both initiatives.

Countries to be represented are Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

June 2006
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