an Africa led vision
Africa Public Interest Media Initiative.
"The Power Of Public Interest Media And Africa's Renaissance".
The Africa Public Interest Media Initiative is an industry development focused mechanism, which has been designed by George Twumasi, a Fall 2018 Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government’s Shorenstein Center at Harvard University.
The Africa Public Interest Media Initiative is facilitating the creation and establishment of a scalable, digital business model and an ecosystem that incentivises African-generated public interest entertainment content. Working in partnership with a dynamic network of mainstream media entities, it also makes that content widely accessible to citizens across Africa, to ensure the development of an editorially independent, democracy enhancing, public interest media ecosystem.
To achieve its vision and mission, APIMI is focusing on four key areas that are intricately linked with each other.
They are namely:
(1) Build a spirit of community & trust across Africa
(2) Build a culturally uplifting digital platform
(3) Build a structure to attract knowledge & capital
(4) Build an Inter-National co-production system
“The Power of Public Interest Media and Africa's Renaissance.”
As President of the African Union, from 2007 to 2008, a goal that I had was to establish an authentic media of inspiration and reason which Africans everywhere could identify with. It is a vision that is urgently required, especially post-COVID, to revive Africa’s pathway to its social, political, economic and cultural evolution; and its integrated transformation.
My vision then, was to facilitate the creation of a public interest media network that was aligned to the core values of the African Union; the concept of an African Renaissance, and the principles of ethical governance and the freedom of speech.
Not only does the spirit of an African Renaissance embody the hopes and aspirations of generations of Africa’s most prolific thinkers and political reformists. It could also offer the reassurance of an inspiring future for the hundreds of millions of African citizens who share an intense desire for consequential change.
During his term of office as President of South Africa, His Excellency President Thabo Mbeki, did passionately promote the ideal of an African Renaissance that would awaken the philosophical consciousness of every knowledge seeking African.
However, it is my sincere belief that the ideal’s realization would be quickened only when, and if, an effective, public good focused, information dissemination system is successfully established. Africa’s inherent inability to achieve tangible economic progress is particularly due to the fact that the continent is still bereft of sound and practical, public interest information-based knowledge systems that will engender a strong sense of the African’s identity, to anchor and fuel the requisite creative drive and negotiation skills amongst its composite nations and peoples in their interactions with the rest of the world. To conclude, I am committed to an Africa Public Interest Media Initiative that is underpinned by ABN Holdings Ltd and, which is able to generate and facilitate the wide distribution of inspiring content made for Africans by Africans.
H.E. John Agyekum Kufuor, President of Ghana, January 2001 to January 2009
Founder, Africa Public Interest Media Initiative.
Founding Patron of APIMI
H.E. Hailemariam Dessalegn
Prime Minister of Ethiopia from 2012 to 2018.
H.E. Hailemariam Dessalegn, Former Prime Minister of Ethiopia is a Founding Patron of the Africa Public Interest Media Initiative. His Excellency’s commitment to the initiative does bring his rich experience to bear in an ongoing drive to build a financially sound and editorially independent digital ecosystem spanning the African continent and beyond.
These comprise his formidable strategic thinking, effective leadership, a deep understanding of Africa’s need for a viable public interest media ecosystem and his significant convening power at the highest levels of governance across the African continent, the Africa Diaspora and throughout the International political leadership community.
The mission of the Africa Public Interest Media Initiative, a mechanism, which is designed to ensure an effective professional alignment with the International Fund for Public Interest Media, is to ensure the adoption and ratification of both initiatives by the African Union. Accordingly, the objective of His Excellency John Kufuor is to:
- highlight and articulate the importance of free and independent public interest media as a powerful tool for self-determination, cultural sovereignty and information sharing.
- secure concrete support from the leadership of the African Union for the African Public Interest Media Initiative and the International Fund for Public Interest Media.
- prioritise support for independent public interest media at the level of the African Union and from its aligned development institutions including the AfDB Group
- generate democratic governance focused support strategies at the levels of the G7, the OECD and international development financing institutions targeting the continent.
- reinforce the merits for a synergistic alignment between the goals of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement and a viable public interest digital media ecosystem
- create a compelling rationale for international development agencies, donor countries and private equity investors to invest in an independent public interest media system.
As President of Ghana between January 2001 and January 2009, His Excellency John Kufuor presided over a government, which opened up its economy and its politics to the dictates of the tenets of freedom of speech and a benevolent form of capitalism. For that reason, after nearly eleven years of life as a private citizen, he remains of the firm opinion that a free and independent public interest media in Africa is more vital than ever. The former President’s views are premised on the fact that as a key part of an increasingly interconnected world, Africa’s youth are increasingly central to Africa’s ongoing social, cultural, economic and political advancement. In summary, a public interest digital media ecosystem that serves as a mentoring agency and a powerful intellectual pathway to self-determination and global citizenship, is the essence of the mission, for which the African Public Interest Media Initiative has been formed.
"The COVID 19 pandemic has illustrated with stark clarity just how vital access to trustworthy information is, especially in the context of an infodemic of misinformation. We are also witnessing an unprecedented crisis - what some are calling a 'media extinction' event - as independent media across Africa and elsewhere lose revenue and in many cases face closure. Just as public demand for independent media grows, the capacity to meet that demand is diminishing. Rebuilding public interest media in all its forms will require fresh vision and new strategies. BBC Media Action looks forward to working with the Africa Public Interest Media Initiative and with former President John Kufuor who is advancing that vision, as well as other initiatives, in rebuilding public interest media in the future." - James Deane (BBC Media Action)
The African Public Interest Media Initiative has indirect and direct synergies with several individuals and institutions doing similar programmes. Here are a select few.
John Agyekum Kufuor Foundationkufuorfoundation.org
African Broadcasting Network.abnafrica.tv
Africa Public Broadcasting Foundation.apbf.tv
BBC Media Actionbbc.co.uk/mediaaction/
BBC Rapid Blue.rapidblue.com/