Cape Town — AllAfrica co-founder and chair Amadou Mahtar Ba has been named for the third successive year as one of the 100 most influential Africans.
New African magazine says in its current issue that Ba, in his role as chief executive of the African Media Initiative, "is possibly the best connected person in the media sphere, with access to the biggest media owners operating across the continent."
New African adds that Ba is "the go-to man for many media-related issues, including press freedom and the development of the media sector, be it in terms of finance, capacity building or the strengthening of journalistic ethics in Africa.
"Ba is increasingly using his clout to press African leaders to pay more attention to the development of the media industry."
He is one of a number of personalities named by New African as leaders "whose actions and reach... significantly impacted and realigned the continent's [media] landscape..."
Others listed are Nigerian television host Mosunmola Abudu, South African media bosses Koos Becker and Khanyi Dhlomo, Ghanaian-born BBC newscaster Komla Dumor, Kenyan lawyer-turned-journalist Julie Gichuru, South African-born host on Al Jazeera television Redi Tlhabi and Nigerian media executive Alex Okosi.
New African said on its website that its choices were not based on popularity: "Popularity is not always influential," it said. "The influencer's impact on public, social and political discourse... is what largely helps us determine their influence.
AllAfrica Global Media operates one of the Internet's largest public content sites, distributing news from 130 African media organizations and hundreds of other sources through allAfrica.com – the web's most popular Africa destination - and through commercial services that collectively reach tens of millions of people worldwide. AllAfrica's influential audience includes policymakers, business executives, international investors, analysts, diplomats, media professionals, scholars and activists – decision makers of all kinds.
The African Media Initiative (AMI) is a Nairobi-based NGO working to support a free press and strengthen a pan African consensus that a healthy media sector is a requirement for improved growth, governance and accountability across the continent. AMI convenes the African Media Leaders Forum, Africa's largest gathering of media owners and operators. The sixth annual forum was held this month in Addis Adaba, drawing over 500 participants.
Amadou Mahtar Ba on Role of African Media at 2013 Mo Ibrahim Foundation Forum [Video]