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UN official urges African media to mainstream climate change, disability in coverage

African Media Convention
The 3rd Africa Media Convention

A United Nations (UN) official has called on the media in Africa to prioritize issues of climate change, environmental sustainability and disability in their work.

Charles Abani, the UN resident coordinator in Ghana, made this appeal during the official opening of the African Media Convention in the Ghanaian capital of Accra on Thursday. “Our pursuit of freedom and innovation cannot come at the expense of our planet. Environmental sustainability, the imperative of our generation, must be at the forefront of our endeavors,” Abani said.

Emphasizing the importance of climate action, the UN official urged the media to lead the way toward a greener, more equitable future. “The media has an obligation to help reduce carbon footprints and lessen its impact on climate change. Media companies can support environmental sustainability and aid in the battle against climate change,” he said.

Abani also called on the media to promote disability issues in their reporting to foster inclusion. “The media wields considerable influence in shaping societal attitudes. Neglecting, misrepresenting, or overlooking the needs of the 16 percent of the global population living with disabilities undermines our commitment to inclusivity and the pledge to ensure that no one is left behind,” he added.

The three-day convention gathered more than 2,000 journalists and other media stakeholders, including diplomats and academics, to reflect on the fundamental role of journalism in Africa, celebrate the principles of press freedom, and deliberate on measures to safeguard media freedom.

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