On November 9, 2023, a regular meeting of the Association of Russian and African Journalists of the Russian-African Club of Lomonosov Moscow State University was held. The meeting was held, within the framework of the Fifteenth International scientific readings in Moscow “Mass Media and Mass Communications-2023” at the Faculty of Journalism of Moscow University. It was dedicated to the presentation of the latest information and communication portal of journalists from Russia and Africa.
The meeting of the club was opened by Elena Leonidovna Vartanova, the Dean of the Faculty of Lomonosov Moscow State University. In her welcoming speech, she said it is not the first time the Faculty of Journalism has hospitably opened its doors to meetings of the Russian- African Club, where expert opinions are exchanged and decisions made.
In his speech at the meeting, Oleg Borisovich Ozerov, Chairman of the Council of the Russian- African Club of Lomonosov Moscow State University, Ambassador-at-Large of the Russian Foreign Ministry, head of the secretariat of the Russia-Africa Partnership Forum, noted the importance of the topic of the meeting. The uncertainty observed in the media is primarily due to the global change of epochs in international relations taking place before our eyes, when the formation of a polycentric world began. Uncertainty in the media is also associated with the emergence of new information platforms.
Further in the meeting, Louis Gouend, Director of the Department for Work with African Diasporas and the Media of the Russian-African Club, showed to the participants a presentation of the information and communication portal of journalists of Russia and Africa.
He drew attention to the fact that there is still an acute shortage of information in Russia and African countries about each other. Perhaps this is also due to the fact that most Africans live in the information field created by Western media.
The following expert, Eduard Chesnokov, deputy editor of the international policy department of Komsomolskaya Pravda, a journalist and expert in the field of mass communications, suggested holding seminars on a media platform.
It is necessary to train in-demand media specialists for Russia and Africa, create a youth section, and improve the qualifications of young specialists. This is especially important also because the largest demographic category in Africa is the youth.
The speaker from Togo, Dr. Yves Ekue Amaiso, director of the analytical center for Afrocentrism, talked about the possibilities of using big data and artificial intelligence in the media and journalism. The expert believes that Russia and Africa have wide opportunities in the development of this important area. He proposed to create an analytical, information and research structure to help both the media and the state authorities of Russia and African countries to take serious decisions.
The same opinion was shared by the adviser to the Honorary Consul of Burkina Faso, Anatoly Anatolyevich Musienko. According to his opinion, to date, information policy and information warfare are very close to each other. This information war against Russia is particularly active. Therefore, the help of artificial intelligence is very important in the collection and analysis of information and the creation of competent relevant content.
The chief editor of the information agency “African initiative” Kureyev Artem Sergeyevich believes that the main problem for young information agencies is the lack of funding. The expert also proposed in the work of the Russian media in Africa to rely on African graduates of Soviet and Russian universities, who could contribute to this activity the field. The president of the Union of African Diasporas, the president of the Ethiopian Diaspora in the Russian Federation, the head of the scientific and discussion platform of the Russian-African Club of Moscow State University Lomonosov Kinfu Zenebe Tafesse, in his speech, raised the issue of professional training of young executives in Journalism for African countries.
Konstantin Fedorovich Anastasiadi, Chairman of the Commission for Cooperation with African Countries of the Moscow Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Deputy Chairman of the Russia-Nigeria Business Council, a graduate of Moscow State University, dwelled on the difficulties with obtaining educational quotas for budget education in Russia for African youth, whose representatives could make good journalists.
The executive secretary of the Russian-African Club Shershnev Ilya Leonidovich shared his thoughts on the advisability to create on the platform and the possibility of strengthening the qualification of African and Russian journalists. Such courses could be organized jointly with the Faculty of Journalism of Lomonosov Moscow State University.
This would increase the employment opportunities for Russian and African journalists and would also make it possible to fill the personnel gap in this important strategic direction.
According to the speaker from Togo, the Chairman of the Nigerian Diaspora in Russia (NIDO) Ibe Godwin Ezinna the main key to the successful work of the media is the ability to listen to each other. Sergey Nikolaevich Chesnokov, an international journalist, believes that the media should assist representatives of small businesses seeking to enter the African market through publications telling about the intricacies of doing business in certain African countries, logistics features, political situation, traditions.
The representative of Algeria, director of marketing of the company ARMS (Africa Russia Media Solutions), Aldun Amin, revealed the role of the media in supporting the economic development of countries. According to the president, Russia in practice conducts very significant work in many areas of domestic and foreign policy. The only thing that Russia lacks is the ability to correctly and favorably show their achievements. The same problem is met in Africa.
The head of the Sudanese diaspora in Moscow, Dr. Abbas Ifsir, believed that the main element in the media and in the “soft Power” are the cadres. Russia, according to the president, has a large stock of personnel who are graduates of Soviet and Russian universities. However, the expert considers that, this capacity is not being used sufficiently.
The Iraqi expert Yassin Abdel Jalil Aboud, representative of the Union of Former Arabs, recalled the historical role of the Soviet Union in the national liberation movement in the Middle East and Africa, which had liberated these countries from colonial oppression.
In the new conditions, when Russia made a turn to Africa in many African countries, the Russian flag became a symbol of freedom in the fight against Western colonialism, the expert concluded.
At the end of the meeting, the Secretary in charge of the Russian-African Berdnikov Club, Alexander Fedorovich, concluded that the new Russian-African media platform, which brings together Russian and African journalists, is an example of interaction with civil society in our countries. The new multimedia platform will help journalists to cooperate even more closely for the development and strengthening of global relations between Russia and the African continent.