Bloomberg summit, navigating future of media in Africa

EMELDA Musonda.

THE media and financial journalism in particular play an important role in the development of economies in Africa and the globe at large.
However, this role is threatened by the continued technological disruptions as evidenced by shrinking media revenues and newsrooms in Africa among other challenges.
To address the challenges specific to the media in Africa though with a global perspective, Bloomberg launched the Africa Business Media Innovators (ABMI) forum in 2015 with focus on maintaining a flourishing media sector and how business and financial journalism can best contribute to sustainable development on the African continent.
Zambia has this year been honoured to host the fourth ABMI summit and more than 90 international media, technological, business and government and community leaders from 21 countries are gathered in the tourist capital, Livingstone, to explore the issues and challenges impacting the future of media in Africa.
The three day event which is focused on Africa though with a global perspective is this year being held under the overarching theme ‘Africa 2025: The Media Landscape of the future’.
The event which is convened by Bloomberg Philanthropies and hosted by Mathew Winkler, co-founder and Editor-In-Chief Emeritus, Bloomberg News and Scott Havens, Global Head of Digital and Media distribution. Bloomberg Media, will this year focus on key themes impacting the evolving global media landscape, including business models of the future, how to finance a rapidly changing industry and media opportunities and obstacles in The Fourth Industrial Revolution.
During the forum, participants will have an opportunity to learn from a group of young disruptors on their experiences and predictions about the future of African media.
“As African economies continue to grow and play an increasing role in the global economy, the need for a robust, accurate business journalism and financial analysis is more important than ever before.
“Every year this summit leads to dynamic and engaging discussions about the current state and future of African media; I am looking forward to participating in these conversations over the coming days,” Mr Winkler said during the summit.
Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services Dora Siliya who is gracing the event is delighted that Zambia has been chosen to host the event.
Ms Siliya said the event provides an opportunity for Zambia to tell her story to international community on the many developments taking place.
She said Government is committed to working with partners like Bloomberg to push the media agenda and create an enabling environment for the media to flourish.
Among the speakers at the high profile event are media owners, senior editors, investors, business leaders, government officials and community leaders from across the continent and beyond, including: Angola, Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Madgascar, Mali, Nigeria, south Africa, Uganda, USA and Zambia.
The annual event which is strictly by invitation is a component of the Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa (BMIA), a pan African programme launched by Michael Bloomberg to strengthen media capacity, promote innovation in the sector and improve access to high quality data and information on the continent.
The first three events were held in South Africa (2015), Kenya (2016) and Ghana (2017).
As the meeting closes today it is hoped that participants will walk away with valuable practical lessons that will collectively redefine the future of African media to robust one.
The author is Zambia Daily Mail editorials editor.

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