Africa Needs Media to Tell Its Truths, Say AAU President, American Journalist


Addis Ababa /ENA/ February 23/2023 The image and story of Africa have been distorted and wrongly portrayed for a long and it is time to establish a continental media house that tells the true story of the continent, Addis Ababa University President Professor Tassew Woldehanna said.

The president told ENA that media plays a major role in selling the policies and letting people buy the ideas while creating good image of their respective countries.

Even if Ethiopia has done very excellent things at home, it is not popular outside and that is because there are no African continental media, he said.

“So, we need our media to tell our people, to tell the world (the truth) and attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and good things about Africa. There are not only bad things in Africa. There are many good things, attractive places where we can attract investors. But the media has not played its role in Africa. I support the idea of the Prime Minister that Africa should have its own media,” the professor elaborated.

The American journalist of Ethiopian origin, Hermela Aregawi said on her part that Africans need to tell their own story.

For a long time the story of Africa and Ethiopia has been told by outsiders, she said, adding that more and more of us need to tell the story from different angles and that is the only way we are going to get closer and more accurate picture of Africa and Ethiopia.

“There needs to be a pan-African media network and I think it needs the support of all the governments that are interested in this venture. The Ethiopian Prime Minister has shown interest in pan-African media network, so you would expect him and other leaders that think alike that to give some level of support to the network.

“But I also think that pan-African media network needs to be independent, can’t be government owned. It needs some buying from the AU because I think for any leaders or any organization that wants to do good for Africa having their voice or entities that can help tell their voices is important,” she noted.

According to the American journalist, the envisaged Africa continental media house should be independent of any influence from the AU or any organization; but should be working hand-in-hand.

Asked about how to deal with the global media erroneous portrayal of Africa, Hermela responded: “I personally think we have put that issue to rest and it has become very clear what the corporate media in the West or elsewhere wants to do with the story out of Africa. Now the question is how do we takeover?”

Recall that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in his statement at the 36th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union called upon African Heads of State and Government to tackle Africa’s typically negative portrayal by the global media.

“I stress the need for Africa to tell her own story, and not allow others to tell it in the service of their own interests. In this respect, please allow me to restate yet again the need to establish an African Union Continental Media House. Until Africa tells her own stories, her image will remain distorted ─ a distortion that affects not just how others view us but also how we view ourselves. We owe it to ourselves and to our children that Africa’s truths need to be told as they are, untainted with external interests and biases.”

Ethiopian News Agency