A foremost media rights group in Africa known as Media Rights Protectors has thrown it’s full weight behind the decision of the Nigerian government to ban the activities of Twitter in the country.
In a statement released to newsmen by the group’s Director of African Affairs, Dr. Michael Warungu in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital on Friday night, the group said, Twitter has deviated from promoting free speech, deepening democracy and encouraging balanced and objective journalism to dabbling in to Africa’s domestic affairs by promoting regime change across the continent.
The group recalled the unfortunate role of Twitter in Uganda during it’s presidential election early this year which made President Yoweri Museveni to ban Twitter in Uganda.
As media rights protectors, we believe that the media shoud not be an agent for destabilization but a tool for deepening democracy and promoting good governance in Africa.
The group also accused Twitter of ruthlessly promoting it’s commercial interest in Africa than promoting developmental projects, democracy and it’s institutions in Africa.
While Social Responsibility Press Theory was recommended for advanced democracies in Europe and America, Development Media Theory was recomended for Africa and other third world countries who are undergoing a transition from underdevelopment and colonialism to independence and better material conditions but often lack the infrastructure, money, traditions, professional skills and even the audiences needed to sustain media exposure.
That was why in our presentation at the African Union Summit in 2019, we advised African media to concentrate more on development communication so as to attract foreign investments as well as change the African narrative before the world because African stories can better be told by Africans.
Therefore, we commend the Nigerian government for banning the activities of Twitter and we encourage other African countries where Twitter is interfering with their developmental plans to do same.
It’s time to reinvigorate the spirit of Africa by telling African stories the right way.
Dr. Michael Warungu,
Director of African Affairs,
Media Rights Protectors,
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.