Briefing “ACP Rural Development: why Media matters?”: interviews of participants

 

Mr Kole Odutola is teacher at the University of Florida. He emphasizes the need to concentrate the attention of the media on the people working in the agricultural area as they need not only mainstreaming but also support for growth. Professor Odutola questions whether the causes of the weak relationship farmers-media are due to the education of journalists and brings up several solutions in this regard.

 

 

Mr. Ignatius Jean is the representative of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture. His contribution during the first panel drew attention to the key role media plays in education, information, entertainment and the stability of ACP democracies. Mr. Jean underlines that bringing together media and technical personnel from ACP countries is the perfect opportunity to network these three regions and furthermore to create partnerships. Mr. Jean recalls the cultural aspects of communication and the great potential of local media by using the advent of new ICTs.

 

 

Mr. Modeste Shabani bin Sweni is in charge of the radio Santi ya Mkaaji, in the DRC. He considers media as having an important role in the development of agriculture, hence the need to support community media within the villages. He criticizes the fact that city-based media is the one to receive external support, even if it doesn’t pay attention to the problems of rural population. The agricultural development process is becoming difficult when facing all infrastructure problems (transport, processing etc.). For that reason, reinforcing local management capacities and community media to play a catalyst role in the development of rural populations is imposing.

 

Mr. François Stepman is Communication Expert for the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa. He gives an idea of the popularity of ACP agriculture, by presenting some statistics on the number of videos existing on Youtube on this particular topic. Judging by the figures offered by Youtube, the conclusion of our interviewee is that there is a long ways to go towards making agriculture ‘sexy’.

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