The Children’s Media Foundation (CMF)

CGMS – Impressions of Africa

Greg Childs, Director of the Children's Media Foundation, reports on sessions about Africa and media for children and young people at the Children's Global Media Summit, 2107 in Manchester.

Alex Okosi (Viacom Africa) - Keynote

Alex made an impassioned plea for help with education in Africa. "Usefulness" is the focus on so much media for young people there..  And its needed because Africa still has 30 million children not in education at all - despite great strides in the provision of education across the continent.
Governments can’t cope due to lack of funds or corruption.Sp media needs to step up. YouTube videos are giving many people relevant education they can turn into skills and even products they can sell in the rapidly growing economies.
Alex listed a number of initiatives. Including from COBA and Dfid and he showed video of Vodacom's e-school in operation.
 
He ended by asking:  how can we all work together to help truly create a global generation u that is inclusive of all the children in the world?  
This is not an African challenge. It’s a global challenge”

Siyanda Mohutsiwa, originally from Botswana, and now based in the U.S., is currently writing a novel on how African city growth is changing tradition and culture.

"Africa changing" was the theme of this fascinating session.
Between 2015 and 2017 the reach of internet mobile devices on the continent has increased by 300% and ownership has  ceased to be a question of class.  Broadband speeds are low so less heavy methods are popular like What’sApp, with links to download rather than stream video. But mobile is becoming ubiquitous.
In Africa technology will have to fill the gap in an education system which is entrenched in colonial times and geared up to teach 5 people at a time, when it needs to educate millions.
Social media is changing the traditional position of the young who have been pushed aside by the previously very strong values of total respect for age.  Young people are now validated by social media - rather than the approval of their elders.  Their interests, their engagement in the social and political sphere are rewarded by their peers on social media.
@syiandawrites is pan-Africanist and uses humour on Twitter to explore the issues of separation and identity.  She is bringing the great pan-African ideas into the 21st century,  and using young people in her followers to do that.
However as with everywhere else, concerns are growing about a generation growing up with confused notions of public and private through their self-exposure in social media.  And it did seems a shame to her that the internet is competing for people’s time and attention with long-form media - especially books.
And she has concerns about the young online. Sexualisation at 10, Intense cyberbullying - these are all matters which worry her a lot.
But... “I have s very optimistic view” of the internet and kids in Africa". She sees 11 year olds who are not afraid of the world. “They are going to have a higher ownership of the world”.

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The Children’s Media Foundation (CMF)