Politics and policy
Conference asks media to link up public and private sectors
Posted Tuesday, August 7 2012 at 20:42
Media’s role in the creation of wealth and supporting public private partnerships was on Tuesday under the spotlight at a leadership and governance forum being held in Mombasa.
The media industry was also urged to report on Africa objectively without scaring away potential investors.
Nation Media Group Chief Executive Linus Gitahi said that the media had a lot to learn in encouraging investments, but could not sweep under the carpet poor governance and other ills that bedevil the African continent.
“There can be no meaningful development in any country unless there is convergence between public and private sector,” Mr Gitahi told delegates attending the Third Africa Governance, Leadership and Management Convention.
Delegates from more than 10 countries in the continent, amongst them captains of industry, are attending the conference.
He maintained that the media had a critical role of promoting good governance, the first step towards wealth creation.
The media, Mr Gitahi added, plays a key role in branding the continent positively.
The forum noted that successful implementation of Private Public Partnerships (PPPs) was the best way for governments to get capital without increasing taxes.
“The media need to demystify the PPPs and help in reducing the tension that exists between the private sector and the public given that in most cases private organisations are seen as exploiting communities at the expense of the social development agenda,” Mr Patrick Obath, the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (Kepsa) chairman said.
Kepsa, however, said there was need to monitor these partnerships given that the speed with which they are implemented makes them attract expensive transaction costs.
“The social media has also created a lot of potential for creating wealth and jobs if properly utilised,” Mr Obath said.
The way the media report on security was also criticised for hurting tourism, a key foreign exchange earner.
“Experts in various issues and captains of industry need to come out in time of need and give comments to the media as opposed to the current scenario where most leave this role to people who are inexperienced,” Mr Gitahi said.
The forum heard that it is important for the continent to move away from being a raw material producer to value addition.
Other speakers at the conference include former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, Dr Manu Chandaria, chairman Comcraft Group, UBA Kenya chief executive Tunji Adeniyi and Uchumi Supermarkets Chief Executive Jonathan Ciano.