Penplusbytes’ team leader Kwami Ahiabenu and Director of Research and Training Kofi Mangesi have been invited to participate in this year’s prestigious Heads of State Roundtable on “Media, the State and Citizens,” scheduled to take place in Senegal on November 8-9 as part of the 5th anniversary of the African Media Leaders Forum (AMLF) under the theme “Africa 3.0: Strengthening Media and Governance Through Citizens’ Engagement and Innovation”.
The august forum which will be be chaired by His Excellency President Macky Sall and mediated by Dr. Mo Ibrahim is intended is intended to provide an avenue for media leaders and other delegates to engage in a candid and direct way with invited African Heads of State on issues ranging from funding and financing media in a sustainable manner, the potential of open data for African media, to exploring best practices on leadership and ethics as well as learning about innovative journalistic practices.
Kwami Ahiabenu, Team Leader of Penplusbytes is of the opinion that this forum comes at a right time when many countries are embracing good governance and finding innovative ways to engage citizens in the democratic process. This forum will therefore serve as a platform for key stakeholders in the democratic process to develop clear guidelines on how the media, civil society and government will share information that will best serve the citizens on the continent.
On his part, Mr. Amadou Mahtar Ba, the CEO of the African Media Initiative (AMI) under whose aegis AMLF is organised believes that “such an exchange is much needed especially among stakeholders who are often at loggerheads. This engagement will go a long way towards creating the basis of a meaningful dialogue on key media and governance issues”.
Another innovation lined up for this year’s Forum is a public debate on “Media and Citizenship” organised in collaboration with the Council for the Development of Social Sciences in Africa (CODESRIA) to be held at the Cheikh Anta Diop University on 7th November. The debate will act as an important curtain raiser to AMLF 2012 with the aim of engaging the larger public and also linking them to this year’s Forum’s theme.
In all, about 400 delegates are expected to attend AMLF 2012, representing a wide spectrum of stakeholders, including media leaders, journalists, development and funding agencies, academics, NGO activists and technology experts. “Since its inaugural event in 2008,” noted Mr. Ba, “AMLF has grown from strength to strength and is now considered as the not-to-be-missed media event on the continent.”