Media Development and Sustainability in Africa


1st International Conference

"Media Development and Sustainability in Africa: Only a Challenge or an Opportunity, too?"

October 24-25, 2015 - Enterprise Institute & Academy of Journalism and Media


2nd International Conference

"Ownership Structures and Managerial Challenges in the African Media and Telecommunications Sectors"

November 8-9, 2018 - Enterprise Institute, University of Neuchâtel

Objectives and format of the conference

The idea of a conference on media development in Africa emerged thanks to fruitful and enriching discussions with Serge Michel, former founder and chief editor of Le Monde Afrique and now founder of Heidi.news and Jean-Marie Etter, former director of the Fondation Hirondelle. The first conference finally took place in 2015 and was organized in collaboration with the Foundation Hirondelle as part of the celebrations for its 20th anniversary. It aimed at drawing attention on the major constraints and enablers for media development and sustainability in different regions of Africa. In particular, debates analyzed the factors that could help filling financial and competence gaps, as well as strengthening the impact of international aid on the sustainability of media firms. The recent expansion of Western media companies in Africa gave us the opportunity to reflect on the impact that an emerging continent like Africa can have on the business model not only of African media, but of Western media, too.

Building on that first conference, and thanks to the support of the Swiss Network of International Studies and the Swiss National Science Foundation, a second conference was organized in collaboration with the University of St.Gallen. This 2nd edition of the conference took place in November 2018 and addressed media development by focusing on its enabling technologies,namely telecommunications and Internet access. In particular, the conference aimed at investigating the impact of varying foreign ownership structures and managerial practices on (a) media and telecommunications policies, and (b) democratic and economic development in African countries.
In order to advance research in the field but also to stimulate a constructive dialogue between practitioners and academics, the conference adopted a format that dedicated:

  • one day to an academic workshop, and
  • one day to professional contributions.

For more information see the pages dedicated to the two conference days of the two conference editions.

Encouraged by the success of the first two editions of the conference and the interest expressed by speakers and participants, the organizers decided to continue the adventure and repeat the event on a biannual basis. The next event will thus take place in 2020, information will follow.


For more information please contact


Funding institutions






UNINE_cmjn.jpg (site_pos)