By Houmi AHAMED-MIKIDACHE
When the notion of media ownership in Africa first seeped into public consciousness and raised in Europe, Winston Mano, professor at the University of Westminster, was at the forefront. This former journalist, originally from Zimbabwe, founded the Africa Media Center in this University in 2009 with a focus on Africa media and according to his words, “to mobilize efforts by colleagues within the UK and Europe to draw and bring those colleagues who are into the debate”. In 2018, He was indeed part of a conference on Ownership Structures and Managerial Challenges in the African Media and Telecommunications Sectors at the University of Neuchâtel, in Switzerland.
A few years later, he organized conferences at the University of Westminster with African and European people to dicuss this key topic among others. From the conference on African Media Ownership, he published with Loubna El Mkaouar a book titled “ Media Ownership in Africa in the Digital Age: Challenges, Continuity and Change”. The book indeed answers questions related to the media ownership in Africa, the lack of Media in rural areas, the audience, the social Media influence. It was published in 2022 and according to the publishing house, it is offering a significant representation of the current trends and diversity of existing media systems and integrate the whole challenges of North and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Changing the current pattern in Africa
In the podcast «Your Voice» (in English below), Winston Mano explained to the radio Era Environnement the challenges of the use of social networks like Meta (formerly Facebook) in Africa and made a comparison with the Indian policy on social media. It also raised issues of media integration in rural areas. and transformation solutions in Africa that could use the continent to change the current dominant model. In Africa, the media are massively concentrated in urban areas and hardly reach rurality, he said.