Address by Deputy President of the Republic Of South Africa Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) East Africa Bureau launch, Nairobi
7 July 2007
Chairperson of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC)
Ladies and gentlemen
I take this opportunity to thank the local organisers and the SABC for putting together this official launch of the SABC's East African Bureau.
This launch highlights what we mean when we say in kiSwahili, 'harambee,' let us all pull together to reclaim the continent.
Broadcasting in an African context
East Africa is a major political and economical bloc in the continent. It is a confirmation of the significance of Kenya and east Africa that the SABC decided on this launch. It is a sign of confidence in this region that SABC news opens a news bureau so as to ensure that news about Africa is produced and presented from an African perspective.
As such, this East African Bureau is set to play a critical role in providing a platform for news promoting interests of this region.
Africans telling their own stories
Programme director, development mechanisms such as New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad) and the role of African Union (AU), are central to institute instruments that would enable us to tell stories with a Pan-African focus.
It will make possible for us to build solid relations between our respective countries. This ensures that we build bridges to understand each other, know what the key issues are for people in Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole.
An importance of this news bureau is that it will go a long way in recasting how we see Africa and her people. For far too long, we have relied on others to tell our stories. Now it is time to say Africa is not a dark continent, but that it has good stories filled with hope.
Ours task of rebranding Africa takes place in light of the positive developments witnessed all over Africa. The political stability in the region is a reason why SABC has seen fit to invest in Kenya. It recognises economic prosperity which is experienced for creating a better life for all our people.
Indeed this fits in line with the SABC corporate goal which is to produce "compelling, professional and authoritative news, current affairs that tells the African story accurately and plays a meaningful role in supporting the African Renaissance and Nepad."
It is about changing perceptions and attitudes which acknowledges good work that is being done.
Benefits to local economy
I am sure what will emerge from this launch is quality broadcast, an optimistic message, but an image of a continent flushed with economic prosperity. The solid relations that are built during this launch have a multiplier effect.
This East African Bureau is sure to have positive spin-offs by creating new media industries, creating employment and generating wealth for the local economy.
Building capacity is one of the benchmarks in pulling together resources for shared growth and development.
I am pleased that the broadcast channel aims to feature programming which is relevant to the needs of our people.
Programme director, it is my conviction this bureau will provide a platform around issues and discussion on:
* regional integration
* eradication of poverty
* paths of sustainable growth and development
* acceleration of women and youth empowerment.
I am further convinced this is a value-added investment which will generate valuable information for diverse audiences.
Therefore, this launch is a milestone in the African recovery and reconstruction project. It is everyone's responsibility to educate and inform our people about what is good about the continent.
It is about African ownership and leadership in matters of information production. It is about taking charge of the means of information distribution.
It is about partnerships between and amongst people of this continent. I wish to congratulate the SABC on launching this bureau.
I thank you.
Issued by: The Presidency
7 July 2007