Africa — Russia — EU: Opportunities for Interpersonal Interaction and Civil Society Development

The foreign policy situation of recent years has left a serious impact on all forms of international interpersonal interaction. Cooperation and competition have acquired a completely different connotation, and the achievement of joint or any other goals is accompanied today by a number of factors aggravating the already fragile nature of international relations framework. The “mutual alienation” and “multilayeredness” that are characteristic of relations between Russia and Europe, and the corresponding “narrowing of contacts and aggravation of tone” for some time seriously worsened the situation in all previously successful areas of cooperation: in the economy, trade and industry, healthcare, and agriculture, social sphere, science and, of course, in the entire foreign policy course as a whole.

Nevertheless, it is interpersonal relations and the language of society today that are still one of the key and least conflicting tools for dialogue. Controversial and uncompromising positions, diverging views on the international arena, sanctions policy and rivalry in foreign markets do not add a positive touch to Russian-European relations. But the modern political field is no longer inert, it requires a completely different speed reaction. But behind this swiftness, it is necessary to remember the fundamental and unshakable basics that will allow us to avoid illusions about permissiveness, impunity, lack of morality and highly risky self-confidence.

The development of print media, television and radio broadcasting in Africa is also problematic because of the varied linguistic composition of the population, the low literacy rate, especially among the poor, the uneven development of communications and infrastructure, the underdeveloped technical and technological base, and the need for additional investments (especially in TV and Internet), low solvency of the majority of the population, etc. However, the media in Africa is evolving. So, from the middle of the last century, TV broadcasting began in many countries, which became possible with the technological assistance of Western countries (USA, France, Great Britain, etc.), as well as after the creation of its own broadcasting system Afrovision (similar to Eurovision) and launched in 1993 with the assistance of UNESCO, a number of international organizations and companies of the communication satellite Afrostar. The development of print media was largely facilitated by the creation after 1960 of its own news agencies and associations of African journalists. In 1965, the Federation of Arab News Agencies, FANA, appeared, and in 1983, the Pan-African News Agency, PANA, in which 40 countries participated. One of the oldest and most widely read pan-African magazines, Jeune Afrique, largely contributes to the Western audience's awareness of Africa. This weekly French-language news magazine was founded in Tunisia in 1960 and is headquartered in Paris. Since 2000, Jeune Afrique has also run a news website. Journalists of the publishing house cover both African and international news, write about the economic and political problems of Africa. Its average circulation is 90 thousand copies. In Russia, the only profile publication on the interaction of Russia and Africa on a wide range of issues is the “Africa Active” magazine, published since 2017. Cooperation in the field of media and journalism development is a new, capacious, useful topic and, it seems, in demand. It provides an extensive field of activity. In addition to many possible measures to establish and develop cooperation in this area, it would also be useful to periodically hold international meetings of media representatives to meet, share experience and improve skills, to explore new opportunities in the field of information technology to expand and deepen knowledge about each other. After all, nothing contributes more to the achievement of mutual understanding than personal communication and awareness.

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  10 July 2020