The Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Dr Abiy Ahmed Ali, has restated the need for establishment of an African continent media house which will tell the African story accurately without bias and vested interests.

He made made the remarks on Saturday at the opening of the 36th ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He made a similar proposal in February last year.

“On this occasion last year, I called upon all of us to tackle Africa’s typically negative portrayal by the global media, I stressed the need for Africa to tell her own story, and not to allow others to tell it in thee service of their own interests. In this respect, please allow me restate yet again the need to establish and African Union Continental Media House,” Dr Abiy remarked on Saturday.

“Until Africa tells her own stories, her image will remain distorted – a distortion that affects not just how others view us but also how we view ourselves. We owe it to ourselves and to our children that Africa’s truths need to be told as they are, untainted with external interests and biases,” he added.

International media has frequently portrayed Africa as a troubled continent with endless civil wars, hunger, corruption, greed, disease and poverty, a line perceived as demeaning and dehumanizing and likely driven by a calculated strategy and agenda.

According to Dr Abiy, this negative media representation of Africa not only disinforms the rest of the world about the African continent but also shapes the way Africans see themselves.

“Telling our own stories and shaping our own narratives must be our priority,” he says.

A case in point was during the recent conflict in the Northern part of the country, where BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera among other media outlets widely and consistently told a fictitious narrative of the situation.

In fact, in that conflict, the group which fought against the legitimate government collaborated with international media and and its western sympathisers trading false propaganda about the war.

At some point, multinational news-based pay television channel CNN told lies to the world that the terrorists had seized the Capital Addis Ababa – a line that was not true.

The Ethiopian people both in the country and those abroad openly through demonstrations expressed disapproval of the intervention of the West in the internal issues of Ethiopia. They categorically vowed to support the legitimate government against any form of aggression.

An Afrocentric media network that is not sponsored by any non-African source, would iron out such inaccuracies.

Kungu Al-Mahadi Adam is an experienced Ugandan multimedia Journalist with a background of fact checking and thorough research. He is very passionate about current African affairs particularly Horn of Africa. He... More by Kungu Al-Mahadi Adam

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