Over 32 CEOs of African media organizations met in Dakar, Senegal, and
called for a stronger push for media development in Africa, and agreed
to collaborate so that media can play a more proactive role in Africa's
development, according to a media release.

"The future of media in Africa lies in convergence and partnerships," said Linus Gitahi, CEO, Nation Media Group, Kenya and publisher of The Nation. "We cannot wish away an idea whose time has come."

The event "African Media Leaders Forum: Shaping the Future of Africa's Media," was co-sponsored by AllAfrica Global Media, a content service provider, and the World Bank.

"Media constitute an essential part of the dialogue on development in Africa," said Eric Chinje, Manager, Africa Region External Affairs, The World Bank. "The Forum was an important opportunity to engage media leaders and help place media at the heart of the development process in Africa."

The "Dakar Declaration" issued by African media leaders agreed to:

    * Strengthen collaboration, share experiences and content, and adopt international norms of good corporate governance and sound management of media organizations;

    * Invest in strengthening the skills and knowledge of media professionals and journalists;

    * Develop a charter for African Media Leaders;

    * Support establishment of the African Media Initiative (AMI) as a permanent corporate entity in Africa to, among others, support the activities of AMLF and serve as a resource for media development across the continent.

"The Forum, the first of its kind, was a great success," said Amadou Mahtar Ba, President of AllAfrica.Com. "The far-reaching Dakar Declaration will help to strengthen media development efforts across Africa, and contribute to journalistic excellence on the continent."

The Second Forum will be hosted by the Nation Media Group in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2009.