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AUC partners with Dignified Storytelling to champion the African narrative

Building upon the Dignified Storytelling network of key advisors and alliance members, which includes Dubai Cares, Expo 2020 Dubai, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MOFAIC), alongside strategic partners such as the League of Arab States and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the African Union Commission through the Directorate of Information and Communication also joined hands with Dignified Storytelling, with an overarching goal to champion the African narrative, making a commitment to continue telling African stories without bias or false narrative at the expense of human dignity.  

Speaking about the new partnership, the Director of Information and Communication, and AU at Expo 2020 Dubai, Pavilion Director, Mrs. Leslie Richer commented: 

“the African Union welcomes the Dignified Storytelling initiative and its goal to bring more transparency, authenticity, balance, equity and respect to storytelling and transform the narratives we tell about the world we live in and its people.”

The Dignified Storytelling initiative grew out of the need for additional resources to help storytellers and organisations shift to partnership-based storytelling practices and to tell fuller, more nuanced stories that prioritise human dignity – our inherent value and worth as human beings. It is supported by Dubai Cares, Expo 2020 Dubai, and the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MOFAIC), alongside strategic partners including the African Union, League of Arab States and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), as well as key advisors and a strong network of alliance members.

Dignified Storytelling has been actively uniting the voices of content makers, editors, journalists, photographer, filmmakers, contributors, storytellers, and those working with them, to agree and create guidance on storytelling practices that upholds the dignity of all persons and creates a positive environment.

Speaking on behalf Dignified Storytelling, Shermin Mheidly, Dignified Storytelling Lead said: 

“Dignified Storytelling is a platform that is powered by partnerships and collaborations alongside individuals and organizations across sectors who are equally committed to establishing a common understanding of how storytelling can and should instil as well as maintain the dignity of all persons. We are extremely happy to be joining forces with the African Union to place dignified and ethical storytelling at the epicenter of knowledge sharing, stakeholder engagement, and capacity development to inspire and inform storytellers around the world.”

For the African Union, Agenda 2063 addresses the need for the restoration of the dignity of the African people by developing a more sustainable continent for all. In particular, the virtues of Agenda 2063’s Eleventh Goal, encapsulate the spirit of continued Dignified Storytelling. By promoting democratic values, practices, universal principles of human rights, justice and the rule of law entrenched.

“The world is full of stories. Stories about people, events, communities and nations; stories aimed at grabbing attention through sensational headlines, images, 30 seconds (or less videos) or snippets constrained by time or word counts on social media that may elevate or reduce the human dignity of those who are the subject of these stories” concluded Richer.

Today, thousands of stories are being told regardless of who tells them and how they are told. Many of these stories lack authenticity, transparency, or are driven by ulterior motives which serve a predetermined narrative. These are just some of the few obstacles that get in the way of honest, wholesome and dignified storytelling within development and humanitarian contexts.

Would you like to discuss ways to work with Dignified Storytelling and support us in promoting the concept of human dignity in storytelling?