The African Media Initiative (AMI) and the United Religions Initiative (URI) have agreed to work together to establish a network of journalists that focuses on peace and conflict issues in Africa. The Regional Director of the URI, Ambassador Mussie Hailu, and the Chief Executive Officer of AMI, Eric Chinje agreed to develop this concept when they met in Nairobi to discuss AMI’s programme to work with media professionals in reducing the gap between media content and the development agenda of African countries.
Ambassador Hailu pointed out the critical importance of the religious dimension in peace building and the need to incorporate that into AMI’s training programmes. He said, “We espouse the Golden Rule of doing to others as you would have them do to you and believe this to be a solid basis for peace on this continent,” he said, pointing out that this is not separate from all other efforts to ensure lasting peace in Africa. Chinje agreed, noting that, “development cannot take place in an environment of conflict, and this is why all regional actors involved in peace-building should contribute to efforts to bring media into their programmes.”
Ambassador Hailu expressed his pleasure with AMI’s development-focused agenda and welcomed the opportunity of working together towards that objective.
The African Media Initiative is the continent’s largest umbrella association of African media owners, senior executives and other industry stakeholders. AMI’s mandate is to serve as a catalyst for strengthening African media by building the tools, knowledge resources and technical capacity for African media to play an effective public interest role in their societies. This mandate includes assisting with the development of professional standards, financial sustainability, technological adaptability and civic engagement.
URI is a global grassroots interfaith network that cultivates peace and justice by engaging people to bridge religious and cultural differences, and work together for the good of their communities and the world. URI implements its mission through local and global initiatives that build the capacity of member groups and organizations, called Cooperation Circles, to engage in community action such as conflict resolution and reconciliation, environmental sustainability, education, women’s and youth programs, and advocacy for human rights.