Milan — During the International Participants Meeting Milan Expo 2015 final session, Amadou Mahtar Alioune Ba, CEO of the African Media Initiative (AMI), has been awarded with the African Media Prize Expo 2015 – Afronline.org, released by Mr. Roberto Formigoni, Expo 2015′s General Commissioner.
Giving the award, EXPO 2015 and Afronline acknowledged Amadou Ba outstanding contribution to African Media and his skills on promoting innovation among African media.
After co-founding the largest news website about Africa in the world (allafrica.com), Amadou Ba launched the African Media Initiative (AMI), the largest Pan-African organization of private media owners and managers on the continent. He had this idea in 2004 right after taking part in the G8 summit in Gleneagles. In 2011, the prestigious Pan-African weekly magazine, The New African, ranked him in the list of the 100 most influential people in Africa.
According to Ba, ‘the road taken is the right one, but it’s still a very long journey. AMI has provided a number of media houses with a network of consultants to facilitate the migration to digital, and in particular the access to mobile platform. This year AMI also launched a fund for innovation in African media called the ‘African News Innovation Challenge‘ (ANIC). ANIC saw the participation of more than 500 candidates. Some 20 of them will be awarded a cash prize during the AMLF in Dakar.
“It is an honor to receive this Prize” has declared Ba during the ceremony, in the presence of Giuseppe Sala, Chief Executive Officer of EXPO 2015 S.p.A and Riccardo Bonacina, President of Comitato AFRO. “EXPO 2015 is an important opportunity for Africa”, which will be able to show to the expected millions of people attending it, the new African reality, marked by economic growth, social progress and technological innovation.
Ba’s presence to EXPO 2015 IPM and his participation to Afronline.org conference (organized in collaboration with EXPO 2015) is actually preceding the African Media Leaders Forum (AMLF), the flagship programme of AMI, providing media owners and operators an opportunity to interact with peers, investors, policy makers, development partners and technology leaders.
Between Milan and Dakar, where the fifth edition of AMFL will take place, a main theme is joining EXPO 2015 and AMI: strengthen visibility to the challenges facing Africa in crucial fields such as agriculture, rural development and environment. “Throughout AMFL, African Media Initiative will launch a fund of two million US dollars to support news reports devoted entirely to agriculture, the environment and health” said the CEO of AMI.
In addition to Ba, EXPO 2015 and Afronline.org awarded two African media: IPS Africa and @verdade. IPS Africa received the African Media Prize EXPO 2015-Afronline.org prize for its capacity to voice the opinion of African communities, while @verdade has been awarded for its exceptional contribution to Mozambique’s social development. Kudzai Makombe, Regional Director for IPS Africa, and Aderito Caledeira, Deputy Director General at @verdade, were in Milan to receive the awards.
IPS Africa provides more than 400 media outlets across Africa and internationally with a constant flow of news features, analyses, commentary and opinion on the major economic, social, and development challenges of the continent, including topics such as climate change, environment, agriculture and food security. IPS Africa’s uniqueness lies in its ability to capture voices from the grassroots and provide civil society with a communication platform. News and content in English, Swahili, French and Portuguese through a network of over 200 freelance writers in sub-Saharan Africa, French language editors in the IPS West Africa bureau in Cotonou, Benin; and Swahili and Portuguese translation services in Nairobi, Kenya and Maputo, Mozambique.
Jornal@verdade is one of the most renowned free press magazine in Africa. The print run oscillates between 20,000 and 50,000 but @Verdade is read by about 400,000 people per week, giving it the country’s biggest readership. “For the price of a newspaper, you can buy eight loaves of bread and each loaf can feed four people for a day” said Aderito Caldeira. “With Verdade, people can buy food and get the news.”
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