Democratization of information and imperatives of sustainable development in Africa: A nexus of people, press, peace, and public policy. 

Three pillars of sustainability – environment, economy, and society are discussed exhaustively in the literature on sustainable development. But the role of a media system that supports peace is often ignored in management, policy and development discussions. The paper argues that an unfettered media can be an effective tool for development in a continent challenged by incessant conflicts, natural disasters, poverty, and disease. 

The goal of the research was to provide some insights into the obstacles and opportunities of the emerging information society in relation to sustainable development. 

Interviews of a purposeful sample of 15 respondents and a 5-member focus group drawn from African immigrant communities, academics, business leaders, and civil society in New York covered such areas of freedom of expression, development communications, participatory democracy, and accountability. 

Data were analyzed through thematic analysis and constant comparison. Emergent themes were coded from the interview data validated through continuous comparison with different views of respondents and observational field notes. 

The media was identified as a veritable platform for dialogue among intersecting domains of sustainable development notably the environment, economy, and society. The results from the study are significant because it emphasized that a synergy of people, press, peace, and public policy could guarantee sustainability and the future of humanity. 

Uchenna Ekwo, Ph.D.

Center for Media & Peace Initiatives Inc.
12 Desbrosses Street
New York, New York 10013