The Journalists International Forum for Migration (JIFORM) has called on the journalists in Africa to tell the positive story of the continent in order to elicit hope for the people and disabuse their minds from the thoughts that successes are only abound on other continents.
JIFORM President, Ajibola Abayomi, said this while inaugurating the Publicity Committee for the African Migration Summit being organized by the JIFORM, Nigeria in partnership with the Nekotech Center of Excellence, Ghana on February 25-26 at the Accra International Conference Center.
Leading the pack of dignitaries invited to the summit are President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State from Nigeria, Professor Patrick Lumumba from Kenya, international multiple award winner and member African Union Labour-Migration Advisory Committee, Rev. Dr. Ocansey and Honourable Tolulope Akande-Sadipe, Chairman, Nigeria House of Representatives Diaspora Committee and others.
Some of the participating organizations include Altec Global Inc., Canada and International Organization for Migration (IOM), Nigeria, Ghana and Gambia.
In a statement he signed, Abayomi said “only Africans can tell the story of Africa, not other people,” saying that “We must rise in unison and be proud of our land by pressuring the leaders to return us to the path of greatness.”
According to him, the resources and potentials on the continent were begging to be tapped.
“Only if corruption can be shunned and accountability with prudent management are embraced then backed with equitable distribution of wealth, our youths won’t take to irregular migration because poverty and hunger will be banished.
“Africa won’t be erroneously described as grave yards for poverty by the ignorant minds elsewhere,” he said.
Ajibola poised that AMS would rescue Africans from slavery, adding that JIFORM was already partnering several agencies helping to improve journalists’ capacities.
He added that it would further this with the distribution of a publication on terminologies and key concepts in migration to assist media practitioners to properly understand migration matters at the summit.
The JIFORM President said the conference with the theme “Labour Migration: Shifting the paradigm to benefit Africa” was a child of necessity aimed at advancing a robust policy framework to attract benefits of migration to the continent and to further encourage leaders to take adequate responsibility concerning the plights of Africans abroad.
The committee is headed by Barnabas Thondhlana, Zimbabwean journalist; and others: Fred Smith (Joy TV, Ghana), Ronke Ariyo, News Agency Nigeria (NAN, Saptieu Kallon, (Radio Democracy, Sierra Leone), Chairman, Moroccan Network of Journalists of Migration, Salaheddine Lemaiz (Didier Madafin ise, Benin Republic), Juliet Makwama (Zambia), George Mhango (Rainbow TV, Malawi), Thumpeyo Muleya (Zimbabwe), Ousman Marong and Biriam Jobe from the Gambia; Babatunde Tiamiyu, Niran Atiba, Adedayo Adelowo of Pensioners’ FM, Radio Nigeria and TVC, Nigeria and others.
“Fate has placed in your hands the opportunity to reposition Africa and be part of history. Think deep and reflect on the pains of losing loved ones to unapproved routes through the desert, Mediterranean Sea and others as a result of irregular migration.
“It was not the desire of many to go through such a perilous journey but because they lacked information and poverty pushed them to fall prey to the human traffickers. We must say never again to the enslavement of our brothers and sisters in the Middle East through Kafala or any form of slavery.
“The way to go is regular migration with abundant opportunities for education, tourism, business, pleasure, cultural and religious exchanges.
“Over $46 billon came to Sub-Saharan Africa alone in 2019 and over $500 billion were also remitted to the developing economy by migrants abroad. Africa has the potential to benefit more. Media must restraint from blaming the migrants as they are economic developers,” said the JIFORM president.