Omoyele Sowore, founder of SaharaReporters and human rights activist has called on African journalists to take charge of the story on migration from the continent to other parts of the world especially Europe.

He made the call when he spoke on a panel at the Global Editors Network in Athens, Greece.

Sowore while talking about his recently launched platform Africana.news created to tell stories of African migration said, "Conversations on Africa migration are driven by sentiments some of which are racist.

"You look at it and you see a bunch of people trying to run away from their continent. You are not looking at airplanes; you are looking at boats taking people from Libya to Italy without understanding that the subject of migration has not always been this way.

"As a matter of fact, Europeans partitioned Africa in 1884 after the Berlin Conference in Germany. They did not even go for visas, yet the Portuguese, British and French got on boats and took over Africa.

"The subject of migration and hostility against migrant is not limited to Europe and America alone as South Africans are also known to be hostile to migrants."

He invited journalists globally to reconsider the angle they use in telling migration stories especially since migration is usually mutually beneficial.

 

"African migrants in the united states paid $22.2 billion in taxes in 2015 but beyond that, these migrants also help their countries, like in Nigeria the money sent back home exceeds oil remittances.

"Migrants carry weight in their destination countries and pioneer breakthroughs in science, arts, and other sectors.

Citing his story as an example of the benefits of migration, Sowore said, "I migrated to the US some 20 years ago and founded a news website that has almost completely changed the direction of news reporting in Nigeria.

"SaharaReporters was able to do what it did because I had a safe haven in the US and used that place to launch an attack on bad governance and corruption at home. I personally wrote over five thousand stories until I got tired about a year ago and decided to run for office.

Speaking on the purpose of his new platform Africana.news which won the Mo Ibrahim Editors Lab Hackathon in April, he said, "the aim is to tell African migration stories within the context of global politics and the new world order because when people are moving it is with purpose and that every story covering migration must take into context why people move. See Also International SaharaReporters Ousts Seven African Organizations To Win First Mo Ibrahim Editors Lab Hackathon

Sowore called on Africans to, "own their own narrative" because most times the story you get is simply what is reported in the West while urging African journalists to be introspective of migration issues happening within the African continent.

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