Africa Roundtable: An Introduction

Nicholas Kristof, Pulitzer-Prize winning columnist for the New York Times recently concluded a 12-day visit to Africa. His findings were revealing and confirmed reports that Africa is on the rise. According to The Economist, six of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies between 2001 and 2010 were in Africa and the International Monetary Fund says that between 2011 and 2015, African countries will account for 7 of the top 10 spots. In the words of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: “I want all of my fellow American citizens, particularly our business community, to hear this: Africa offers the highest rate of return on foreign direct investment of any developing region in the world”. In the 21st century, “Africa is the continent that is the land of opportunity,” Clinton said in June while addressing an annual meeting set up by the African Growth and Opportunity Act.

In the view of Kristof, Africa’s success story is not being reported because the western media is still trapped in the old paradigm of negative portrayal of the continent. But as the inimitable New York Times journalist argues, Africans in Diaspora have a role in changing Africa’s narrative.

It is against this background that Center for Media & Peace Initiatives is organizing Africa Roundtable – a speaker series that will emphasize the re-branding of Africa through different media platforms.

Africa Roundtable will bring together today’s foremost authorities and thought leaders on Africa and development strategy in an enlightening and collaborative fashion. The CMPI format, comprised of expert insights, panel debates, and knowledge sharing, is designed to stimulate thinking and provide actionable solutions regarding Africa’s image dilemma. Each session of Africa Roundtable will feature three guests: US journalist, African journalist, and civil society activist who will field questions from participating audience.

Who should attend?
An estimated 300 participants drawn from a variety of backgrounds such as Communications Specialists, Journalists, Heads of civil society organizations, academics, researchers, Students,  educators (secondary, vocational, or tertiary), professionals from the private and public sectors, school counselors, principals and teachers and education policy development representatives, member-based organizations, advocacy groups, public relations professionals, and corporate communications directors.

Proposed Venue:
Desmond Tutu Conference Center,
180 10th Avenue New York, NY 10011

Our Goal:
The primary goal of this forum is to focus on the future of Africa while understanding the continent’s past. It adopts the Appreciate Inquiry—a complex philosophy that engages the entire system in an inquiry about what works. Africa Roundtable focuses on what works in Africa and how to accelerate new economic opportunities in the continent. Everyone who attends the forum will walk away with a greater understanding of the role of the media in shaping the image of Africa and how Africa is the future of the world. The forum will also provide an opportunity to relax, meet old friends, and make new contacts.

Uchenna Ekwo, Ph.D.
Center for Media & Peace Initiatives
12 Desbrosses Street
New York, NY 10013
Tel: 212-400-4851; 917-8035540
Twitter: @cmpimedia