AI holds immense potential for Africa’s media – Prez

Ghana’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has charged the media in Africa to leverage the opportunities and work efficiency inherent in the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for the growth of the industry.

The use of AI in news gathering and dissemination had contributed significantly to expanding the media landscape in a manner unimaginable, he said, and asked that it was used responsibly at all times.

“AI holds immense potential for the media industry,” the President told a gathering of some eminent journalists at the closing session of the Third African Media Convention (AMC), which was hosted in Accra, Ghana.

He said the media had its reputation and integrity to protect in the line of duty.

AI should not be adopted for the wrong reasons as it should not become “a source of evil”, President Nana Akufo-Addo stated, explaining that using Artificial Intelligence to generate false information and other unhealthy practices should not be tolerated.

It is expected of journalists to be conscious of working within the confines of ethical standards in order to engender public confidence as they seek to educate and inform the society.

The three-day Convention brought together media experts, scholars, journalists’ unions and associations, editors, policymakers, as well as cooperating partners from around the African continent, UNESCO and African Union (AU) Commission.

It discussed the emerging technologies in the media landscape, advancing best practices amid the fast-evolving news industry and creating new revenue opportunities through partnerships.

The key highlights were the state of the media in Africa, Artificial Intelligence and its impact on new media, bringing the newsroom into the business of news, and revenue and innovation – winning ideas for sustainability and growth.

The African Media Convention is currently the largest gathering of media stakeholders and policymakers on the continent.

It is an initiative of The African Editors’ Forum (TAEF) designed to safeguard the hard-won media freedoms and safety of journalists on the continent.

The maiden edition was held in Arusha, Tanzania, in 2022.

President Nana Akufo-Addo, highlighting the need for environmental sustainability, entreated the media to whip up education to create the requisite awareness amongst the people.

The focus should be on whipping up public interest in a way that would promote the culture of environmental sustainability.  

Environmental sustainability was linked to the overall development and growth of humanity, the President noted.

He drew attention to the need to expose the public to the emerging environmental issues, such as climate change and its impact on global development, saying that should be at the heart of contemporary media practice.

Mr Churchill Otieno, President of the African Editors’ Forum, said the Convention enabled the participants to assess and discuss the situation of the right to press freedom on the continent, identifying areas where journalists faced repression, violence, or censorship.

It also strengthened ties between different actors, such as media and civil society organisations as well as international bodies, to work together to promote and protect the right to press freedom.

More importantly, the Convention highlighted the importance of reliable and accurate information, especially that which denounces and investigates the environmental crisis and its effects.


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