A New Chapter Begins, African News Matters!

 

Dear friends,

I hope this message finds you in the best of circumstances and fulfilling your life-mission in the world.

In July 2017 we posted a message on this website pointing to upcoming changes for Africa Agenda. And you may have been wondering when you’ll be able to see the changes. It is often said that change is good. But making change is a difficult and risky business. Today I am glad to announce that the changes are here.

Starting on May 3 (World Press Freedom Day) Africa Agenda will begin to operate in new ways. This website (Africa Agenda dot org) will shift its focus to the provisioning of training, events, tools, and other resources for journalists, bloggers, and the community. The goal is to further our understanding of the news and the African continent. I hope to see you at a meeting, event or conference about the news soon.

Meanwhile we will launch effective on the same day at 6 p.m. mountain time a separate content website Africa News Matters (Africa News Matters dot com) devoted to the critical analysis of the news. The goal is to confront, head-on, the many issues associated with the delivery of African news by global media. So, I invite you to check out the training resources and services available on the revamped Africa Agenda website. And I invite you to visit Africa News Matters (effective May 3) to see what is happening and to take action on the issues about the news that we face as a community.

As an organization we believe not just the truth, but the whole truth about the African continent. The truth constitutes both what is right as well as what is wrong. When we chose only one side of a story–even when we know there are two sides to it–that becomes an injustice for the entire continent. This is what our 13 years of endeavor at Africa Agenda is all about! To tell both sides of the African story.

But we are not the first to see that there are issues in the way African news is reported. I take this opportunity to thank the many organizations, academics, and lay people that have sacrificed their time to bring balance, perspective and context to African news for decades. And we won’t be the last to try to deal with this issue.

Yet this battle to reveal new information is fraught with challenges; the lack of resources, including money, needed to wage an effective campaign. There are also many naysayers, armchair critics, and those who want to profit by discrediting the entire continent for personal gain. This is not fair. This lack of credible information breeds fear, mistrust, and is a disincentive to investment in the continent.

I must say that Africa Agenda has done its share of work on this matter for the last 13 plus years. We are not done. We are just starting. The battle to chart a better future for the African continent is fought not in far-away places like the United States or Russia, but in our hearts, minds, on TV, radio and on the internet. We have a duty to bring fairness to this process.

On top of our many accomplishments as an organization is what we have done to create awareness about the many issues confronting our community in Colorado and around the world. Many people are learning something through this website. Even if this means just one visitor a day, that is a step in the right direction. And without enumerating everything we’ve done as an organization, we are pleased with the following:

  • Worked across the Denver metro area with hundreds of volunteers, many of the local universities, Africa-oriented networks, African leaders and organizations, and organized dozens of forums highlighting the beneficial activities by and issues of interest to the global African community
  • New organizations that have formed through inspiration from our work.
  • We’ve sponsored students and organizations and enabled them get on their feet to do work that fosters better understanding of the African continent.
  • Students have completed journalism internships with us, even while we exhausted our meagre resources to make this happen. We’re a community resource for journalists locally and internationally.

This is awesome news!

Meanwhile, please don’t forget to give us your financial support to make Africa Agenda and Africa News Matters better. I hope you would join us in shepherding Africa Agenda to that next faithful step we are taking. Let’s keep going. I am reminded of the many people and organizations who never their reached their full potential until after they had tried dozens, if not, hundreds of times.

Sincerely,

George Bamu

Founder and Executive Director