A roar for Africa to tell its own story was heard loud and clear in Mauritius, which is playing host to the 26th conference of the African Public Relations Association (APRA).

APRA President Peter Mutie stated that all the continent’s citizens must be motivated by the African proverb ‘Until the lions tell their story, only hunters will be heard’, to come out and tell the story of Africa’s progress in Africa’s own words.

Bringing together Public Relations and communication experts from across the globe, the 26th APRA conference has officially opened yesterday May 28, 2014 and is ending on May 30, 2014, at the Le Meridien Hotel in Pointe-aux-Piments, Mauritius.

Taking place in front of hundreds of delegates from Mauritius, Africa and Europe, this year’s conference which has for its theme ‘Advancing Africa’, is supported by the African Union Commission (AUC).

Having both a timely and relevant theme, this conference is only a continuation of a progressive journey of projecting Africa as a rising continent, where opportunities for direct investment are open for global investors.

“We have no shortage of natural wealth, including our beautiful people and abundant professional capacities,” said Peter Mutie, at the opening ceremony of the annual APRA Conference.

“This gathering here is a testimony of the wealth we possess in Public Relations and Communication, therefore, there is no reason why Africa should continue struggling with image problems,” he added.

APRA speakers all

Image (Cecilia Samoisi/AfricaMoney): Guest speakers at the 26th APRA conference, currently underway at the Le Meridien Hotel in Pointe-aux-Piments, Mauritius.

Furthermore, according to Peter Mutie, the reason why there are still concerns about how Africa is branded in the global arena is because, for a long time Africa has been portrayed as the continent of civil strife, diseases and starvation, where even nowadays, we hardly hear stories about Africa’s progress.

“Hardly do we hear stories about progress and two-digit economic growth in some of the African countries. Or, the mature democracy epitomized by Ghana, among a host of other African countries,” he said.

For his part, the Deputy Chairperson of Africa Union Commission, Erastus Mwencha, said that “the coverage of Africa is drive by an agenda that is non-African”.

“It is for that reason that the story often focuses on Africa blaming its woes on its colonial past and on asking other countries for help. Such bias only serves to reinforce stereotypes and does not allow the full story to be told,” Erastus Mwencha added.

Hence, it time for Africa to change the story and it will be so with ‘Campaign Africa’, initiated by APRA, which is a multifaceted multimedia effort to change the way Africa is perceived.

“The responsibility of telling the African story and the positive attributes of this continent rests on all of us in Africa – governments, continental and regional bodies, APRA and its affiliate country associations,” Peter Mutie concluded.

“Until the lions tell their story, only hunters will be heard”, said Peter Mutie, President, African Public Relations Association (APRA) at the 26th APRA conference, held in Mauritius.

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