UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA - AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER
THE NEW PANA: PROFESSIONALISM IN ACTION.
During the last 6 years, far-reaching democratic changes have occurred on the African continent. Indeed, since 1989, several countries have taken to the path of multiparty democracy.
This new development has undoubtedly transformed the African media landscape with the emergence of a free and pluralistic press. Today, up to ten newspapers are being published in some countries where some years ago only one or two existed. In the field of audiovisual media, rapid developments have also been recorded. In some African states, government monopoly on radio and television is now a thing of the past. Along with these trends public opinion has also been clamouring for quality press and improved circulation of news.
This scenario has contributed in setting new agenda for the Pan- African News Agency (PANA) which, since January 1993, has initiated a new era with professionalism as its watch word.
This new breath of fresh air in the continental agency comes in the wake of the commencement of a recovery plan which involves setting up new structures to propel the agency towards privatisation scheduled for 1996. The restructuring aims to achieve three main objectives : 1 - Consolidate PANA's editorial independence in order to boost its credibility and prepare it to embark on an agressive marketing of its products in its capacity and position as the premier source of reliable information on Africa; 2 - Make its editorial products more accessible to media in Africa and in other continents through the operation of its own satellite telecommunication network (VSAT) covering the entire continent and 75 other countries in Europe, America, the Arab world and Asia; 3 - Open its share capital to private investors up to a 60-per-cent ceiling. Two years after the beginning of the implementation of the recovery plan, the Pan-African News Agency has gone through major changes not only in terms of its editorial activities but also with regards to the collection and transmission of news.
PANA achievements in figures.
Apart from the general news service, PANA presently produces 5 specialised bulletins in the fields of : economy, sciences and health, environment, sports as well as a weekly review of the African press. New specialised bulletins will be available soon.
From 2,000 words per day in January 1993, PANA production has soared to a record of 40,000 words/day in January 1995. Whereas previously it had none, the number of Africa-based correspondents was increased to 32 in the same period. The new continental agency is also represented in London, New York and Paris. Reception of the PANA file has multiplied several fold with 35 countries now serviced as against 2 previously. Finally, the rate of usage (by other media) of PANA stories throughout the continent has steadily been on increase. For instance, in Senegal (PANA host country), an average of 124 stories per week are picked up by electronic and print media as against 4 stories per week in January 1993.
Since February 1994, the Panafrican News Agency has been connected to the Internet global network. Henceforth, wherever you may be in the world, you have the possibility of receiving the PANA file by electronic mail. For 1995, the continental news agency is planning to use 2 new carriers to ensure a wider dissemination of its news items.
Much still remains to be done
Indeed, PANA is presently working on the implementation of its far-reaching and ambitious programme for 1995-1996 :
1 - to install its own satellite distribution network (VSAT) for direct reception of its products and those of other sources of information with satellite dishes
2 - steady progress toward a daily production target of 50,000 words including 2 news services on African women and human rights;
3 - raise to 13 the number of African bureaux and expand the news gathering network with 40 correspondents;
4 - open 4 new foreign bureaux: Brussels, London, Tokyo and Washington;
5 - launch an electronic news bulletin featuring stories from PANA and from other African sources of information, the African independent press in particular;
6 - commercialize the agency's products in Africa and the rest of the world and lay solid foundations for its future development. The Panafrican News Agency Network
In addition to the 48 partner national news agencies which cover day-to-day events for the daily news service, PANA has undertaken to set up its own correspondents and bureaus network.
As at January 1995, they are located in:
Abidjan* Lome Addis Ababa (Bureau) London* Bamako Luanda Bangui Lusaka (Bureau) Bissau Maseru Brazaville Nairobi* Bujumbura Ndjamena Cairo* New York* Conakry Niamey Cotonou Nouakchott Dakar (Headquarters) Ouagadougou Gaborone Paris* Harare (Bureau) Port Louis Johannesburg* Praia Kampala Tripoli (Bureau) Khartoum (Bureau) Tunis* Kinshasa (Bureau) Yaounde* Lagos (Bureau) ------------------ * Will be transformed in Bureau in the 1995-1996 programme. ------------------ For 1995, PANA is planning to have correspondents and bureaus in: Accra Algiers Antananarivo Asmara Brussels Dar es Salaam Djibouti Freetown Kigali Libreville Lilongwe Maputo Malabo Mbabane Mogadhishu Monrovia Moroni Sao Tome Victoria Washington Windhoek LANDMARKS
London, July 25th, 1900: the first Panafricanist Congress suggests the creation of a news network geared towards drawing international attention to the living conditions of the black people of Africa and the Diaspora.
Monrovia, 1961: African communication professionals under the Monrovia Group proposed the setting up of an "Inter-African News Agency" operated on the basis of genuine editorial independence.
Addis Ababa, May 25th, 1963: the Heads of State and Government attending the inaugural Conference of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) propose the establishment of an African news Agency.
Kampala, November 11th, 1977: the first Conference of African Ministers of Information agree on the principle of setting up a Panafrican News Agency.
Addis Ababa, April 9th, 1979: the second Conference of African Ministers of Information adopt the Convention for the establishment of the African News Agency known as the Panafrican News Agency (PANA).
Monrovia, July 20th, 1979: the Heads of State and Government choose Dakar to host the headquarters of PANA.
Dakar, May 25th, 1983: transmission of the Agency's first story announcing the launching of its activities.
Dakar, July 1st, 1992: OUA Heads of State adopt PANA Recovery Plan.
Dakar, February 1st, 1993: beginning of the implementation of the Recovery Plan.
In addition to its general news service, PANA has developed a wide range of weekly specialized reports based on events in Africa and in various fields : arts and culture, economics, environment, science and health, sports...
WEEKLY ECONOMIC REPORT
In the context of a worldwide approach to economics, this service provides news on and analyses on economic decisions taken in Africa or elsewhere and which directly affect the future of the Continent. Whether you are interested in the prices of raw commodities, the debt burden, business opportunities as well as trade agreements etc, PANA now enables you to keep abreast of economic issues throughout Africa.
WEEKLY FINANCE AND CURRENCY REPORT
In the area of finance and currency, information becomes more than any other domain both a considerable stake and a perishable product. Whether you are a central or commercial bank, a private, public or semi public economic operator, the requirement is the same: receive the right information at the right time and on various subjects: the bulk of monetary transactions, invitations to tender, financial and monetary decisions, funding agreements... Get connected immediately and you will receive timely information and analyses from the main African and international markets : Abidjan, Cairo, Johannesburg, Harare, Lagos, Lusaka, Brussels, London, Frankfurt, Paris, Tokyo and Wall Street.
WEEKLY ENVIRONMENT REPORT
With 30 million square kilometers Africa is one of the largest continents of the planet. It is also subject to constant threats such as deforestation, desertification, drought, overpopulation, toxic waste... These hazards seriously affect African societies. In order to give an account of this situation and also of the hope arising from efforts to reforest and education in terms of the protection of nature in general, PANA has created this weekly bulletin covering all events related to environment in Africa.
WEEKLY DEVELOPMENT MONITORING
Despite its important natural resources, Africa is the planet's poorest continent. Today, it hardly accounts for one per cent of international trade. The health of the population is precarious, the food deficit high, and life expectancy remains at 55 years. Despite the shortcomings facing her, Africa's potential is considerable. Her inhabitants increasingly take their fate in their own hands, mainly with the assistance of IGO's and NGO's. Conceived as a mirror of the successes and failures of development efforts undertaken throughout the Continent, this service informs you of daily activities carried out in this respect by various groups:farmers, civil society, governments, trade unions, foundations...
WEEKLY SCIENCE AND HEALTH REPORT
For many reasons, Africa is faced with serious health problems:
- over one million deaths per year due to malaria;
- 50 million Africans exposed to sleeping sickness;
- over 70,000 blind people in West Africa due to onchocercosis.
In addition to this picture, there are the ravages of the current pandemic AIDS and malnutrition. Whether you are a journalist, a doctor, a researcher, a decision maker etc, PANA gives you the opportunity to know about the current medical events in the whole of Africa. Every week, the continental agency provides you with a review of medical research, the efforts to bring efficient health coverage, African traditional medicine...
WEEKLY AFRICA'S WOMEN AND CHILDREN REPORT (In project)
"Educate a woman, you will educate a nation" Accounting for 52% of African population, women are in charge of 70% to 80% of food production in Sub-Saharan Africa. Nevertheless, they are still the most exposed to the problems facing the Continent: 1 adult woman out of 3 can neither read nor write, and every year over 250,000 women die in childbirth. Despite the handicaps, the women of the Continent are moving forward. Now they are private or public company managers or executives, international businesswomen, famous dressmakers, etc. Avail yourself of the opportunity to get up-to-date information about developments in women's condition throughout the Continent thanks to this weekly service.
AFRICA WEEKLY PRESS REVIEW
Firmly rooted in the heart of current events on the Continent PANA is the only news agency capable of synthesizing for you the information and news as they are viewed by the whole of the African press irrespective of language groups. >From now on, witness every week exactly as if you were on the spot, the main great moments in the economic, political, social, cultural, scientific life of the whole of Africa.
WEEKLY SPORTS REPORT
- the image of a dynamic Africa through the coverage of the major sports events on the Continent: African cups or championships in various sports (soccer, athletics, basketball, boxing, etc);
- the image of a competitive Africa by covering international competitions in which African teams take part: World cups, Olympics Games, in particular.
Special attention is also paid to the traditional sports of the Continent: wrestling, horse or boat races, among others.
WEEKLY ARTS AND CULTURE REPORT (In project)
Africa and the Diaspora in its entirety have achieved remarkable fame through the richness of their arts and culture. Increasingly, the Continent exports its colours and rhythms. African-American, Caribbean as well as South American music and dance inspired by the African sounds (Reggae, Samba, etc) are popular around the world. Today, a large number of American and European cities have African art museums.
From now onwards, experience the rhythms of the cultural and artistic activities of Africa and its Diaspora, whether they take place on the Continent or elsewhere.
This bulletin focuses attention on the strengthening of the links between Africans and individuals or groups, particularly African- Americans and African-Caribbeans, interested in the arts and cultures of Mother Africa.
HOW TO RECEIVE THE PAN-AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY?
PANA currently operates with three networks which are adapted to the particular needs and geographical position of each subscriber. In the first half of 1995, the Agency offers a choice between reception through E-mail, modem or point to point specialized line. In late 1995, PANA will set up its own satellite telecommunication system (VSAT). This will enable subscribers throughout Africa and beyond to reeceive PANA's services in timely manner.
PAN-AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY (PANA) PO/BOX : 4056 Dakar SENEGAL Tel : (221) 24 13 95 (221) 24 14 10 Fax : (221) 24 13 90 Telex : (906) 21826 PANA SG E-mail: email@example.com - firstname.lastname@example.org BAAM Amadou E-Mail: email@example.com Date: Tue, 21 Feb 1995 23:14:04 -0500 Message-Id: [199502220413.XAA01806@bottom.magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu] From: BAAM Amadou [firstname.lastname@example.org] Subject: Pan_African_News_Agency
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