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Is ‘development for all’ just a motto?

Happy World Development Information Day! It is no coincidence that this day is shared with United Nations (UN) Day, 24 October. For if you think of the best preacher of development, UN always tops the list. This day was created to raise awareness about development roadblocks in many nations and how to overcome them.

As I write here today, I cannot doubt the power of the universe and how things eventually work out well, at least in my positive mind.

 For the past 77 years, the UN has set a standard for all nations to “build back together for peace and prosperity” and these are the footsteps that every UN member state is supposed to follow.

But there is only one powerful tool for driving mandates such as this, the media.

Now, as we celebrate World Development Information Day, an honour should be directed to the media if it is worth it. Sharing development information is key to development because it is a channel for new ideas and processes to achieve those. We cannot overlook the power of the media in this regard.

While church leaders have pleaded with the media to rechannel communities, nations and hence the world by normalizing the dissemination of positive information, it remains critical to take the stand to act right and, of course, take the blame to the current chaos in the world.

It is surprising how many developing countries seem to be following the same trend. There are reports about new government ventures, development projects launched and updates in public services across every sector but the developmental gap remains just as big.

It remains as big because, despite the many televised, aired and documented stories on development, there are other many untold stories of underdevelopment in education, agriculture, health, infrastructure and technology, not only in Lesotho.

It may suffice to say the reporting is often biased in that the media often reports about urban development, leaving marginalized communities behind.  Rural reporting, however, as minimal as it is, reveals very interesting, though sometimes touching realities of life, not only in African countries.

We have a joined responsibility, therefore as the media and development partners, to not only report about underdevelopment but to act upon it. If only the direction could change to the rural landscapes, all could feel part of the celebration.