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Russian, African journalists embark on developing an information strategy

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The Second International Journalists Forum of Russia and Africa marked a significant milestone on April 18, 2024, dedicated to commemorating the anniversary of signing the memorandum on information interaction.

Hosted by the Russian-African Club, Faculty of Journalism, and Faculty of Global Studies of Lomonosov Moscow State University, the event garnered notable support from the Secretariat of the Russia-Africa Partnership Forum of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Diverse participants including diplomats, government officials from African nations, media industry leaders, producers, journalists, public figures, scientists, educators, and cultural representatives, convened at the forum.

The gathering welcomed approximately 100 attendees from 32 countries, including Russia, various African nations, the Middle East, India, and Brazil.

The forum was skillfully moderated by esteemed figures including Alexander Berdnikov, Anna Gladkova, Louis Gouend, and Ilya Shershnev, all instrumental in fostering constructive dialogue and collaboration.

Addressing the attendees, Oleg Ozerov, Ambassador at Large of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, emphasized the pivotal role of truthful media in shaping public perception.

He highlighted the forthcoming Russia-Africa Ministerial Conference scheduled for November in Sochi, stressing the importance of a robust information framework to support bilateral relations.

Elena Vartanova, Dean of the Journalism Faculty of Lomonosov MSU, underscored the forum’s significance on the eve of the university’s 270th anniversary, reflecting on its profound impact on national development.

Vartanova also commemorated the 225th anniversary of Alexander Pushkin, emphasizing his foundational role in Russian journalism.

Yves Ekoué Amaiso, Director of a think tank for Afrocentrism in Togo, advocated for a unified strategy in response to the geopolitical and information challenges facing Russian and African media.

Speakers from various African nations including Zenebe Kinfu, Leonard Dossou, Ondua Ovona Joseph Julien, and Tokologu Tau, highlighted concerns regarding increasing Western influence on African media and stressed the necessity for collaborative action plans.

Jamal Othman, representing the Main Department for Media Content Monitoring in Libya, shed light on efforts to combat disinformation and promote responsible journalism.

Ilya Shershnev, Program Director at Lomonosov Moscow State University, emphasized the importance of preventive journalism and announced plans for an advanced training course to address contemporary challenges in media.

Dwivedi Ratnesh, an expert from India, commended Russia’s model of media governance and highlighted the need for balanced media practices.

Maxim Reva, Deputy Editor-in-Chief for economics at the African Initiative news agency, underscored the significance of direct engagement between journalists and audiences, emphasizing the agency’s correspondent points in Africa.

Louis Gouend introduced the information portal rusafromedia.ru, aimed at fostering collaboration between Russian and African journalists.

Furthermore, Gouend announced a journalistic competition to commemorate personalities fostering Russia-Africa relations, with winners to be announced on Africa Day in Moscow.

The forum also welcomed virtual participation from Sergei Chesnokov, currently in Cameroon, who emphasized the mutual interest between Cameroonians and the Russian delegation in fostering partnership.

Participants like Patrick Boyanga Bozi, Georges Romain Zobo, Rex Essenovo, and Said Ali voiced support for initiatives fostering media collaboration and mutual understanding between Russia and Africa.

In conclusion, Alexander Berdnikov affirmed the commitment to integrate forum proposals into the Journalists Association of Russia and African Countries’ agenda, underlining the forum’s consensus on the necessity of a robust information strategy to fortify Russian-African relations.

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