27 May 2014

Africa: Thank You and Farewell from the AMI CEO


Nairobi — After establishing and leading the African Media Initiative (AMI) for 4 years, I have decided to step down as Chief Executive Officer.

Together we have created the largest African media development organization. We nourished the roots of an institution that is now bearing the fruit of leaders committed to improving our media landscape. In 2010, when we established AMI, I believed that our collaboration would spur innovation and encourage growth. As I conclude my tenure as CEO, effective May 30, 2014, we have achieved more than anyone could have imagined. I want to highlight some of the achievements below:

  • We organized the first African Media Leaders Forum (AMLF) now in its 7th edition. This unique event annually brings together more than 600 media leaders, technology innovators, political & business leaders, activists and heads of African institutions to share ideas about the future of the continent and the role media play in it.
  • We held the first African data bootcamp at a time many of us were wondering about how to unlock the power of technology for media development. In doing so we demonstrated that Africa can also play a major role in media innovation. This activity was developed through the creation of Hacks&Hackers chapters in 15 countries where we insisted that the future of media cannot be dissociated with technology adaptation.We encouraged this trend by launching the largest news innovation challenge on the continent, ANIC.
  • We defined and championed the first ever Leadership & Ethics Guiding Principles for media owners and operators a year before the UK News Of the World scandal that brought to the forefront the absolute necessity for media owners to adhere to highest standards of ethics. In doing so, AMI showed that African media is committed to ethics and leadership.
  • We showed our commitment to human and economic development in Africa by giving prominence to development reporting through the launch of the largest story challenge on the continent focused on health, agriculture as well as business and finance, TASC.
  • Together, we have been to all regions of our continent, engaging with heads of State, heads of African and international institutions, ministers, civil society and religious leaders to help advance the cause of free and independent media in Africa. We engaged with the citizens of this continent in innovative ways, listening and responding to their concerns. Our collaboration catalyzed the movement to free journalists in Burundi and Mali.

I leave AMI with a huge sense of gratitude towards all of you who have contributed so much to shape the African media landscape. AMI has become Africa's leading media development organization as a direct result of your engaged partnership.

I am confident you will continue to support AMI and insist on the highest standards for it to remain the world class organization the continent deserves.

I will remain in touch. Once part of the AMI family, you are part of the family forever. I can be reached via email at mahtarba@gmail.com. It has been an honor to serve with you.

Amadou Mahtar Ba is co-founder and Board Chair of AllAfrica Global Media, which produces allafrica.com


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