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The 6th African Media Leaders Forum (AMLF) is to be held in Addis Ababa starting Wednesday, November 6th 2013, and will last for three days.
The 2013 forum has been organized in partnership with four African institutes; the African Development Bank Group (AfDB), the African Union (AU), the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).
During a press conference given by the National Organizing Committee, it was stated that the AMLF event is organized every year and registration for the 2013 Forum indicates that it will have the greatest number of participants by far.
“The theme of the Forum will be around African media in the past 50 years and 50 years into future. One of the reasons why Ethiopia was given the chance to host this international event is because the OAU/AU 50th Anniversary is currently being celebrated, and this event will also be a part of that,” Mimi Sebhatu, Co-Chair of the National Organizing Committee said.
She also stated that the event was an opportunity for African media houses to evaluate their work, network with each other and share their experiences. The AMLF 6 will consist of several programs, including a debate session organized in collaboration with the Addis Ababa University School of Journalism and Communication. The debate will revolve around the question ‘Are African Media capable of transforming the continent?’ and will be held at the Addis Ababa University.
Other discussion sessions will revolve around building a resilient Africa, tackling the infrastructure and institutional deficit, the value of citizen journalism and whether it can generate a large following, as well as press freedom in Africa, among other things.
The last day of the Forum will host a Heads-of-state roundtable discussion that will reflect on the creating a conducive ‘media development’ environment in Africa. It will address issues concerning funding, ethics, technological innovations and freedom in African media.
“The Ethiopian government wants the media to speak of the reality on the ground. Now, even western media houses are reporting on the rise of the African continent. They are speaking of the growth and other positive developments,” stated Motuma Temesgen, Office Head of the Government Communication Affairs. It was also stated that campaigning for AMLF in Ethiopia was not an easy chore. “There was a huge opposition from some for hosting the Forum in Ethiopia because the government is perceived as oppressing the media. Those who opposed it have also been invited to the event to allow them to observe the reality,” Mimi further stated.
The official event will be opened by Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn. It was also stated that organizational costs are expected to reach well over USD 800,000