200 Female Journalists Highlight Impacts Of Migration In Africa
By Fanta L. Keita
Over 200 female journalists from 54 African countries converged in Casablanca, Morocco highlight the impact of migration on the continent at the 2nd Edition of the Pan-African Female Journalists Forum.
The two-day forum discussed the role of the media in this trending global issue in order to encourage and strengthen bonds of solidarity between all people of African descent.Addressing the forum, the Senior Editor-in-Chief of 2M Radio in Casablanca and Founder of the Pan-African Forum, Fathia El Aouni, said the forum is important because it centers on issues of migration in Africa and the role of the media in reporting on it.
Aouni noted that if humanitarian crises, persecutions, and civil wars cannot be overshadowed, they are subject to media treatments that are simplistic and biased in the eyes of public opinion, both in host countries and countries of emigration.
According to her, it is about time to deconstruct the myths associated with migration, which is a natural phenomenon that represents the solution and not the problem and, as such, the deconstruction of these myths is for the most part the responsibility of the media.
Aouni emphasized that inaccurate or biased treatment by the media of migration issues has the effect of distorting the perceptions about migrants, nurturing stigmatization and rejection, and may even lead to misinformation, stressing, “The challenge for journalists is to advocate for a fair treatment of migration issues, whatever the complexity maybe.”
She pointed out that the standpoint, especially held by Western media, makes us forget that migrants first represent an added value in economic, demographic or financial terms, adding, “It is rarely noted that immigration contributed to 42 percent of the population growth in North America between 2000 and 2015.”
Following the forum, the journalists crafted two important documents which constitute a comprehensive report of all the work in progress as well as a summary of the 2018 and 2019 action plan.
The 1st edition of the Pan-African Female Journalists Forum was held on March 8, 2017 in Morocco.
Topics treated at the Forum included The Role of the Media in Migration, Journalistic Treatment for Migration Issues, Wandering Minors, Identifying a Complex Phenomenon, Women Mobility: A New Migratory Dynamic, and Climate Migration and Food Security, amongst others.
Since 2010, the world has experienced some of the largest population displacements in its contemporary history as nearly 66 million people in the world left their region or country in 2016 alone for political, economic or social reasons.
Among this population, there were 22.5 million refugees, half of whom were under 18 years old.
Today, the United Nations estimates that more than 258 million people live outside their native country, representing 3.4 percent of the world’s population.
These figures have increased significantly since the beginning of the 21st century, especially following the political unrest in various parts of the world, such as Syria and Libya.
Liberia was represented at the female journalists’ forum by Ms. Fanta L. Keita of the Liberia News Agency (LINA).