Naivasha, Kenya – Media executives from Ethiopia, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda and Kenya gathered to participate in the East Africa Regional Financial Proficiency for Media Executives workshop put on by the African Media Initiative (AMI) and African Development Bank (AfDB). The event brought together CEOs, CFOs and other managers from media organizations in East Africa with financial experts to focus on media sustainability, access to funding and understanding the range of financial mechanisms available.
Meredith Beal, a U.S. media owner who manages AMI’s Business Development & Management Programme, designed the curriculum and brought together financial experts from organizations like the Southern African Media Development Fund, Africa-Assets.com and MGK Associates. “With more and more journalists rising the ranks into management at media houses, it is important to arm them with the skills necessary to navigate their businesses through these challenging times,” says Beal.
“The issue of media and financial sustainability is an important one for the African Media Initiative and is one the organization’s five main pillars,” says Roukaya Kasenally, Director of Programmes & Knowledge Management at AMI. “Workshops like this one are part of our efforts to help ensure the requisite financial environment so that the media can operate in an independent and financially secure manner -- a major catalyst for sustained media independence in the continent.”
In welcoming the delegates, Mercy Randa, Regional Communications Consultant for the African Development Bank noted the bank’s commitment to support growth in the media sector. “The African Development Bank works to invest in systems and in championing innovation and creativity,” she says. “It is important to reiterate that financial proficiency is a process, not an end in itself … but in the end, this training will go a long way in helping build the financial resilience of media institutions in Africa -- a perfect way of assuring their independence, now and in the future,” she explains.
This event is one of a series of regional workshops around the continent over the next year to help strengthen the financial management skills of media executives.