Dr Iqbal Survé’s address at 5th World Media Summit: The 10-point program for strategic choices for shared humanity within the media

Dr Iqbal Survé delivers his address at the 5th World Media Summit in Beijing.

Dr Iqbal Survé delivers his address at the 5th World Media Summit in Beijing.

Published Dec 4, 2023


Independent Media Chairperson, Dr Iqbal Survé attended the 5th World Media Summit from December 2, and delivered this address.

By Dr Iqbal Survé

Greetings to Your Excellencies, His Excellency Hu HePing, Wang Wei, Governor of Guangzhou province, Fu Hua, President of Xinhua News Agency, distinguished guests, ladies, and gentlemen.

With heartfelt gratitude and sincere congratulations, I extend my greetings to President Fu Hua and Xinhua for the 5th World Media Summit, a vital platform for engaging the world’s media. Commencing in 2009, this summit now sees its 5th iteration in 2023.

Travelling from Cape Town, South Africa, I speak as the Chairman of Independent Media and the Chairman of the Africa News Agency. It’s always a challenge, accompanied by some trepidation, to address such an esteemed audience, particularly preceding the tea break, an essential pause in our discussions.

Nevertheless, the preceding speakers shared profound wisdom, upon which I build my discourse today. I wish to address today’s theme - enhancing global confidence and advancing media development - by reflecting on this crucial subject matter.

I aim to present a 10-point program, a strategic pathway of choices necessary for achieving our objectives. I present these points not to burden you but to prompt your own considerations for a 10-point program, fostering a collective approach within this meeting’s overarching agenda.

Allow me to elaborate on each of the 10 points.

The first point underscores the necessity of setting a goal: the pursuit of shared humanity. This must be our primary choice to foster peace, global prosperity, and international friendship. Therefore, the shared humanity becomes the inaugural point of our 10-point program.

The second point emphasises social justice, equality, and freedom, qualities that should be reflected in our content.

The third point stresses the significance of truth - a recurring theme from prior speakers. Trust and authenticity in our content creation establish credibility, allowing us to positively influence the world.

The fourth point emphasises the imperative of providing access to technology. In this post-technology age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, encompassing artificial intelligence, big data, cloud computing, robotics, and gene therapy, these technologies must be accessible to all. Collaboration and sharing of both technology and innovation are paramount.

Point 5 underscores the necessity for increased human-to-human interaction.

Amidst our assembly of around 500 delegates today, such interaction is vital, as only humans can convey compassion, ensuring that heart and mind connect in all our endeavours.

As a medical doctor trained at the University of Cape Town, I emphasise the significance of this human connection, drawing parallels to the importance of a positive state of mind in the success of heart transplant patients.

I will briefly touch upon the next five points due to time constraints.

Point #6 advocates for institutional collaboration, especially in training.

Point #7 underscores the importance of diversity in both newsrooms and thinking, ensuring the right demographic context in our work.

Point #8 advocates for a continuously evolving multipolar, multidimensional world, championing the rights of the Global South.

Point #9 highlights the criticality of prioritising the planet and mitigating the impacts of climate change for future generations.

Lastly, Point #10 stresses the power of storytelling in deepening friendships and fostering shared humanity.

In my recent welcome address on behalf of the World Media Summit and President Fu Hua, I spoke about the revered figure, Mr. Nelson Mandela.

His words resonate deeply, especially his notion that “it always seems impossible until it’s done.“

Despite the challenges facing our world today, Mandela’s courage and sacrifices for freedom and liberation stand as a testament to achieving seemingly impossible goals.

As the chairman of Sekunjalo, present across over 40 African countries, I believe "Sekunjalo“; an Nguni word meaning ”now is the time for it,“ encapsulates the urgency for collaborative action within the media sector.

Now is the time for unity, leadership, and purposeful storytelling, working collectively towards a world of shared humanity.

It is indeed possible, and I extend my gratitude and honour to you all. I wish you fruitful deliberations in the days ahead.

Thank you.