In the last quarter-century, the state of both governance and the media in
Africa have shown encouraging progress. Not only has Africa moved beyond the worst legacies of colonialism, but it has also transcended the rigid constraints of the Cold War. Old dogmas have given way to a new pragmatism – a new freedom to innovate, experiment and find African answers to African challenges.
Africa has learned a lot about democracy in these years, both its fragility and its potential. Governments are increasingly expected to change peacefully, to cooperate regionally, to attract the capable, and to punish the corrupt. And the progress reaches beyond governments. As the Economic Commission for Africa concluded in its recent report: “Civil society and the media have increased their voice and power in the last decade of democratic reforms.”
But there is still a long way to go in many areas, particularly the media.