9 July 2007
The South African Broadcasting Corporation’s new East Africa bureau will help generate news with a true African perspective, Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said at the bureau’s launch in Nairobi, Kenya on the weekend.
She said the new bureau would help the SABC play an important role in providing a platform to generate news stories that promote the interests of the region.
“It is a sign of confidence in this region that SABC News opens a news bureau so as to ensure that news about Africa is produced and presented from an African perspective,” she said.
She explained that initiatives such as the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad) and the African Union (AU) would be central in helping SABC News tell stories with a pan-African focus.
The bureau’s role would be to also “build bridges” for countries in the region to understand each other: “An importance of this news bureau is that it will go a long way in recasting how we see Africa and her people,” she said.
“For far too long, we have relied on others to tell our stories. Now it is time to say Africa is not a dark continent, but that it has good stories filled with hope.”
Mlambo-Ngcuka explained that the political stability and economic prosperity in East Africa would help the SABC meet its corporate goal to produce compelling, professional, authoritative news and programming on current affairs.
“I am sure what will emerge from this launch is quality broadcast, an optimistic message, but an image of a continent flushed with economic prosperity,” she said.
“The solid relations that are built during this launch have a multiplier effect.”
Mlambo-Ngcuka said that the East African bureau would have positive spin-offs by creating new media industries, creating employment and generating wealth for the local economy.
The bureau would also provide a platform around issues and discussion on regional integration, eradication of poverty, paths of sustainable growth and development as well as the acceleration of women and youth empowerment.
“I am further convinced this is a value-added investment which will generate valuable information for diverse audiences,” said Mlambo-Ngcuka.