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Sputnik's Parent Company Rossiya Segodnya Holds Discussion on Africa Day

29 May
Moscow, Rossiya Segodnya Press Office

Last Saturday, the world celebrated Africa Day, a holiday established in 1963. One of its main initial goals was to raise awareness of the struggle for the liberation of Africa from colonialism.

"Россия сегодня" провела дискуссию ко Дню Африки - Rossiya Segodnya, 780, 29.05.2024

On the occasion of Africa Day, celebrated every year on May 25, the Rossiya Segodnya media group's International Multimedia Press Center in Moscow hosted a Russia-Africa roundtable discussion on media cooperation.

During the event, media executives and Africanists discussed the image of Russia in Africa and Africa in Russia, and identified areas where cooperation could be strengthened.

Russia was represented by Victoria Budanova, head of Sputnik Africa, Tatyana Gavristova, Africanist and Professor at the History Faculty of Demidov State University in Yaroslavl, and Sergei Filatov, columnist for the Russian Foreign Ministry's "International Affairs" journal. Atéridar Galip Somé, CEO of the largest media group of Burkina Faso - Radiodiffusion Télévision du Burkina (RTB), Sanou Kerfalla Cissé, CEO Afric Vision Guinée media group, Ferdinand Affognon, CEO of Nana Média Culture (Togo) and Chérif Abdoul Aziz Touré, Managing Director of Senegal's youth radio station Dabakh FM joined the online conversation.

Opening the event, Viktoria Budanova announced the widening of Sputnik's broadcast geography in Africa. "Now you can listen to Sputnik radio shows in English and French on FM frequencies in three more African countries: Niger, Cameroon and Nigeria. Over a year ago, Sputnik began broadcasting in Mali. We link the popularity of Sputnik's content - uncut content - to the aspirations of countries of the Global South for a fairer world order and growing emancipation from Western pressure. At Sputnik, we are telling the untold by the Western media," said Budanova.

CEO of the Radiodiffusion Télévision du Burkina, Atéridar Galip Somé, spoke of the dynamic development of its products: "Today, we are developing broadcasting in national languages and actively targeting young people. Our media group has a wide range of radio stations and television channels. We are also widely presented on digital platforms." According to Atéridar Galip Somé, the key to media success is to "deal with issues that are useful and interesting to the public".

Sanou Kerfala Sissé, CEO of the Guinean group Afric Vision Guinée, declared: "Globalization is a fact of life today. You have to open up, you have to give true information". He noted that Guinean media already collaborate with foreign media. However, most of the time it's limited information coming only from certain media. "We rarely receive Russian media here",said Sanou Kerfala Sissé.

Russian Africanist Tatiana Gavristova spoke about her research into the intellectual history of Africa and the gradual liberation from Eurocentrism, replaced by Afrocentrism. Gavristova stressed the need to get to know Africa through its literature. According to her, the novels translated into Russian by Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Kenyan author Binyavanga Wainaina, and the works of Achille Mbembe and Kwame Anthony Appiah are among the must-read books for understanding the African continent. "In recent years, many books by African authors have been published in Russian. This is already enough to train a whole generation of people who will judge Africa objectively", concluded the researcher.

Ferdinand Affognon, CEO of Nana Média Culture (Togo), gave a presentation to listeners of the Nana FM radio station, focusing on family values as well as the role of women in society.

The columnist for the Russian journal "International Affairs" Sergei Filatov commented on Russian-African cooperation: "We had very good relations with almost all African countries in the days of the Soviet Union. Then there was a certain pause, when our country had to overcome internal problems, and today Russia is getting closer to Africa again with a major cooperation project. Russia-Africa forums are becoming a regular occurrence, and that's a very good thing. We're trying to listen to our African friends - what they have to say, what their needs are".

The director of Senegalese radio station Dabakh FM, Chérif Abdoul Aziz Touré, presented his youth-oriented media. Dabakh FM keeps in step with the times and tries to use all available methods to disseminate its content, including social networks. According to Touré, "there are many similarities in the African and Russian national character. We'd like to learn more about each other," he concluded.

The expert meeting was a continuation of the series of events "Russia's Cooperation with Asia, Africa and Latin America - Challenges and Prospects." The project is implemented in partnership with the Gorchakov Foundation and the Center for Assistance to Humanitarian and Educational Programs.