Africa: Appointment of a New CEO of the African Media Initiative

Nairobi — From the Office of the Chair of the AMI Board to AMI Staff and Major Stakeholders

It is my pleasure to inform you that the Board of the African Media Initiative (AMI) has, at the end of an international selection process, decided to appoint Mr. Eric Chinje, a Cameroonian national, as the new Chief Executive Officer of AMI.

Mr. Chinje's appointment is for a 3-year term beginning July 1, 2014. He will be expected to build on the successes of his predecessor, Mr. Amadou M. Ba, by:

  • Strengthening the role of AMI in improving the quality of media in Africa;
  • Reinforcing the financial base of the Initiative;
  • Liaising with regional and global media institutions to improve the quality of media support interventions on the continent;Strengthening management, leadership and professionalism in the African media sector and
  • Helping African media houses embrace technology to cultivate new revenue streams and enhance sustainability.

Mr Ba steps down at the end of his founding tenure to pursue his other professional interests. The board and the media sector in Africa are eternally indebted to Amadou.

On behalf of the board I wish to express our profound gratitude to Amadou who is one of the spiritual founders of AMI. Amadou poured his heart and energy into making AMI into what it is today. Indeed, when the history of AMI and the African media sector is finally written Amadou’s name will feature prominently. We wish him the best in his future personal and professional endeavors.

Dr Roukaya Kasenally has been appointed acting CEO until Mr Chinje assumes his new position. We are grateful to Dr Kasenally’s acceptance of this responsibility and we thank you for supporting her.

Eric Chinje brings stellar journalism, communications and development experience along with valuable management skills and an unalloyed commitment to Africa’s development. My colleagues and I are greatly looking forward to working closely with him and you all to advance AMI’s core mandate of developing Africa’s media sector.

Mr. Chinje is currently Senior Advisor with the Washington, DC-based International Communications and Trade Relations firm, KRL International, where he has been providing high-level, strategic communications advice to the Governments of Liberia and South Sudan among others. He came to KRL after a stint as Director of Strategic Communications at the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, London.

Eric Chinje was chosen for the wide experience he brings to the position. A veteran broadcaster, Chinje was Head of News and Programs and Editor-in-Chief of Cameroon Television and, at various times from 1984- 1991, a contributing correspondent for CNN World Report, and a stringer for the BBC World Service, Voice of America, and Deutsche Welle Radio.

Mr. Chinje spent over 16 years at the World Bank in Washington, DC and held senior management positions, including leading the Global Media Development Program at the World Bank Institute (WBI) and as Manager of the Africa Region Strategic Communications (AFRSC) Unit where he oversaw a team of over 80 communication professionals located across Sub-Saharan Africa. He was the Bank’s Spokesperson on African affairs.

Keenly interested in the issues of governance, Mr. Chinje’s signature achievement was the launch of the Independent Media for Accountability, Governance and Empowerment (IMAGE) program that ran a series of journalism capacity-building workshops on Economics and Business Reporting, Investigative Journalism, Covering the Budget, Reporting on Agriculture and others, reaching over 2000 journalists in Africa and Asia. He also served as Vice Chair of the World Bank/International Monetary Fund Africa Club from 1996–2002.

Between 2004 and 2008, Mr. Chinje was Head of External Affairs and Communications at the African Development Bank, working at the AfDB temporary headquarters in Tunis.

Mr. Chinje is currently a Visiting Scholar at the George Mason University in Virginia, USA. He received a BA (Honors) from the University of Yaounde, Cameroon (1977), an MSc in Telecommunications from the Newhouse School of Communications, Syracuse University (1981), and was a Fellow for International and Intercultural Communications at the Center for International Affairs, Harvard University (1991).

Eric and his wife, Diane Aurelie, currently live in Fairfax, Virginia. The couple has four children: Tania Siri, Jon-Colin Muntalo, Sonya Abiba Shiraneh and Michael Khan.

For more details please contact Trevor Ncube, Chairman of AMI on +27823709118 or trevorn@mg.co.za.

RELATED: Thank You and Farewell from the AMI CEO Amadou Mahtar Ba

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