Mawlana Hazar Imam and Prime Minister Raila Odinga congratulate one another after unveiling the plaque commemorating the Foundation Ceremony of the Aga Khan University Graduate School of Media and Communications in Nairobi. Photo: Ejaz Karmali
Nairobi, 27 July 2011 — The Foundation Ceremony of the Aga Khan University’s Graduate School of Media and Communications in Nairobi was held today in the presence of Mawlana Hazar Imam and the Right Honourable Raila Odinga, Prime Minister of Kenya.
“The years immediately ahead will be a time of breath-taking change for Africa, and for the field of media,” said Mawlana Hazar Imam in his speech marking the occasion. “I believe that Africa can emerge from this transformation as the home of some of the most capable, innovative, constructive and respected media enterprises in the world.”
“Helping to advance that vision is what our new Media and Communications School is all about,” he said.
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Innovations in communication technology are increasingly contributing to advances in the development of East Africa. The establishment of the new Graduate School recognises a need for new kinds of media professionals, entrepreneurs and expertise in order to ensure a vibrant, independent, and plural media sector in the region.
The Graduate School will be built on the shoulders of the Aga Khan University and the Nation Media Group, institutions of the Aga Khan Development Network that lend valuable experience “in the field of education and the disciplines of the media,” noted Hazar Imam. However, the school will venture farther afield and distinguish itself in new ways.
Emphasising new technologies, the Graduate School will employ state-of-the-art equipment and innovative ways of teaching, so that its graduates will be comfortable with the media platforms today and “help develop the media platforms of tomorrow.”
Mawlana Hazar Imam speaking at the Foundation Ceremony of the Aga Khan University Graduate School of Media and Communications. Photo: Aziz Islamshah
But the journalist’s obligation to present the story correctly will not be sacrificed at the altar of technology: “Our core concern must always be the ability of our students to think critically and creatively, to pursue the truth ethically and responsibly, and to articulate ideas clearly and vividly,” said the Imam.
The new school will also seek to cultivate in students an indigenous journalistic voice that is not beholden to Western perspectives, but that reflects local realities and which can project these perspectives globally.
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