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Les Panafricaines:

An all-African network of senior media women changing the debate on migration

By: Birgitte Jallov

More than 300 women journalists representing the 54 countries of the African continent, from 67 print media, 61 radio stations, 52 television stations, 36 digital media and 25 news agencies meet every year in Morocco to talk about Africa differently. They are Les Panafricaines.

During the CMMA conference in Hamburg last month, four representatives from the network shared the powerful story of the network and of the change their different news stories make – in Africa and beyond: Fathia Elaouni–President standing committee & Senior Editor-in-Chief l’antenne de Radio2M in Morocco; Phumelele Dlamini - Soweto TV, South Africa; Jacinta Odubanjo - Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria; and Christelle NGALEU - Hommes d'Afrique Magazine, Cameroun, moderated by CMFE’s President and EMPOWERHOUSE director, Birgitte Jallov.

Les Panafricaines, the first network of women journalists from 54 African countries, meets every year in conclave in Morocco, as part of the Forum to discuss issues of concern to the continent. The objective of their network is to learn from each other and develop strategies for how to best ensure awareness of governments and people on migration, which with the climate change crisis will become an even more urgent issue.

The Africa-wide network wishes to strengthen a new way of processing information by giving more voice to migrant women, to hear their journey and the difficulties they endure with their own words. This is important to among others ensure that Africans and the World know that 80% of African migration takes place within Africa, and that with proper planning, this could be a powerful, positive development force. By deconstructing the existing clichés about migrants, les Panafricaines begin to see the debate changing focus, for the better.

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