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AfDB Chief Urges Fair Media Coverage

AllAfrica Media Summit | Re-engineering African Media in Times of Critical  TransformationIN a compelling keynote address at the All Africa’s Media summit in Nairobi, attended by nearly 300 participants from across the continent, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, delivered a passionate plea for a more balanced portrayal of Africa’s development by the media.

Adesina highlighted the critical role of the media in shaping perceptions and driving inclusivity. He lamented the prevalence of negative stereotypes overshadowing Africa’s substantial advancements and economic resilience. ‘Despite significant progress within our continent, the prevailing media narrative often focuses on negative stereotypes, overlooking the substantial advancements and resilience Africa demonstrates,’ Adesina remarked.

He emphasised the need for a shift in focus towards positive developments, pointing out Africa’s economic resilience in the face of global challenges. Adesina cited 2023 data showing that Africa’s growth rate outpaced the global average, with 11 African nations among the world’s fastest-growing economies.


Referring to the 2021 Africa No Filter Report, Adesina called for transformative change in media narratives. ‘It’s time for change. We must reshape the narrative about Africa to reflect its true spirit and potential,’ he declared.

Adesina highlighted the impact of biased narratives on development and investor perceptions, despite findings from Moody’s Analytics showing Africa as a lower risk continent. ‘We must promote a balanced view that highlights both the challenges and the many successes of Africa,’ Adesina stressed.

He proposed strategic collaborations among regional financial institutions to support the creation of a globally respected African media. Adesina urged the media to act as a catalyst for development by celebrating Africa’s successes and countering longstanding stereotypes.

Addressing transformations within the media sector, Adesina acknowledged the influence of digital technology. ‘The media landscape has dramatically shifted with the rise of the internet and mobile technology, leading to a proliferation of digital platforms,’ he observed.

Adesina reaffirmed the African Development Bank’s commitment to supporting initiatives that promote a more balanced and progressive portrayal of Africa. He highlighted the bank’s financial achievements, including maintaining a AAA credit rating and launching innovative financial initiatives.

During a discussion with Julie Gichuru of the Mastercard Foundation, Adesina emphasised the urgency of addressing Africa’s energy challenges. ‘We cannot industrialise in the dark, we cannot develop in the dark,’ he remarked, underscoring the importance of electrification for Africa’s competitiveness and economic growth.

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