As the world shifts into a new geopolitical phase, Africa is gaining importance – as a trading partner and investment destination, a contender in addressing global challenges, but also as an arena for external actors to flex their military and strategic muscles. New actors are (re-)discovering the continent with regional and great power ambitions. From a European perspective, their activities in Africa are viewed with skepticism and concern. Not only because they are economic competitors, but because they also embody competing values and social models.
Looking at media involvement in Africa, one can only state that the continent is more important than ever. Next to traditional actors like the BBC or Radio France International, and to a smaller extent Deutsche Welle or Radio Swiss International, there are new players. They do not seem to have the same agendas as the older ones, but they bring about new versions of journalism and attempted influence backed up by strong financial possibilities.
Who are these new actors? What are their values, ambitions, strategies and methods? Does the competition between the traditional actors and the new ones contribute to a faster development of the region? As Africa is gaining importance, does it gain more reliable partners? What are the risks involved?