Adesina Advocates Balanced Media Representation to Counter Negative Stereotypes of Africa

By Jemimah Wellington, JKNMedia Reporter

PRESIDENT of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has called for a concerted effort to reshape the narrative about Africa in the media landscape, emphasizing the need to highlight the continent’s achievements and potential to counter prevailing negative stereotypes.

Speaking at the All-Africa’s Media Summit in Nairobi, attended by nearly 300 participants from across the continent, Adesina underscored the crucial role of the media in promoting democracy and inclusivity.

He lamented that despite significant progress within Africa, media coverage often perpetuates outdated and negative clichés, undermining the continent’s economic progress and investment potential.

Adesina pointed out that Africa’s growth rate exceeded the global average in 2023, with 11 African nations among the world’s fastest-growing economies.

Citing the 2021 Africa No Filter Report, which revealed pervasive adherence to negative stereotypes in media reports, he stressed the urgency of changing perceptions and showcasing Africa’s true spirit and potential.

The AfDB President acknowledged the challenges and transformations within the media sector, driven by digital technology.

While acknowledging the democratization of information through digital platforms, he warned of the blurred lines between fact and fiction, necessitating the creation of a globally respected African media to counter unfair narratives.

Adesina emphasized the need to celebrate Africa’s successes and promote a balanced view that highlights both challenges and achievements.

He urged strategic collaborations among regional financial institutions to support the development of a powerful African media that acts as a catalyst for economic development.

Highlighting AfDB’s successes, including maintaining a Triple A credit rating and launching groundbreaking financial initiatives, Adesina stressed Africa’s capacity for innovation and strength in the global financial landscape.

He cited the oversubscription of a landmark 750-million-dollar hybrid capital instrument as a testament to confidence in Africa’s financial capabilities.

Adesina reaffirmed AfDB’s commitment to supporting initiatives aimed at presenting a more balanced and progressive portrayal of Africa in the media, thereby contributing to its economic development and global recognition.

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