The TRUE AFRICA 100 is our list of innovators, opinion-formers, game-changers, pioneers, dreamers and mavericks who we feel are shaping the Africa of today.
Samia Cherif has been the director of Al Huffington Post Maghreb since June 2013. Samia and her team have launched three versions of the Huffington Post in Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco over the course of 2013 and 2014. This is the first edition of the Huffington Post in an Arabic but also an African country.
How has the media landscape in the Maghreb changed since the start of the revolution in Tunisia?
The revolution in Tunisia started with slogans such as dignity, work and freedom. Over time, this revolution has become a revolution of the media and freedom of press. We can say that this is one of the real achievements of the revolution that will not (for the moment) be challenged.
We launched HuffPost Maghreb in Tunisia because it was a way to revitalise and sustain these changes.
This media revolution changed the way journalism is perceived in Tunisia. As there was no media culture during the dictatorship, the media landscape could seem chaotic and news was more (or less) reliable. We launched HuffPost Maghreb in Tunisia because it was also a way to revitalise and sustain these changes in a way that we hope will be positive for the entire sector. Even if the changes are not as radical in Algeria or Morocco, there are many opportunities to be seized.
What HuffPost Maghreb’s approach to combining local news with big global stories?
With such a developed global media network, we have privileged access to infinite information from around the world.
With Al Huffington Post, we hope that the Middle East and particularly North Africa will become an essential part of the world and we want to defend universal values. The refugee crisis, the fight against inequality, acceptance of other cultures and other ways of life… All of these topics and many others concern the Maghreb as well as other countries.
The idea that what happens in Egypt or Syria – in Paris or California, concerns us all.
The Huffington Post Media Group is a progressive media. It participates in this vision of a world where people and cultures meet. The topics we cover are part of this approach. The idea that what happens in Egypt or Syria, in Paris or California, concerns us all.
Al Huffington Post Maghreb, with its three editions in Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, reports mainly on news related to these three countries. But the processing of information can go the other way and be adapted to international audiences, establishing links between local news and big global stories.
Who’s your African of the year?
We all know that the Nobel Peace Prize this year was awarded to Tunisian National Dialogue. As part of Tunisian civil society, I am proud of this award which recognises the efforts of Tunisia to complete its democratic transition.
But I would like to mention another nominee of the Nobel Peace Prize 2015, who would also have deserved this award. This is Denis Mukwege, a Congolese gynaecologist specialised in the treatment of women who have been gang-raped by rebel forces.
This man is a model. He used his skills to help victims of sexual abuse. The fight against violence and discrimination against women in Africa must be a priority. It is a non-negotiable condition for the development of Africa and its influence.
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