While young people across Africa are in involved in media activities and production, there is no formal process that involves teaching and training them on the effect and impact of media and information on their lives as media and information literacy seeks to address. To create the environment for media and information literacy to flourish in Africa, the Youth Media & Communication Initiative (YMCI), British Council, Nigeria, and the National Film & Video Censors Board (NFVCB), three organisations whose activities focus on empowering children and youth and advancing the benefits of information and communication technologies, came together to organize the 1st Africa Media Literacy Conference in July 2008 in Abuja, Nigeria.

The focus of this historic conference was on the importance of media education for children and youth in Africa. The conference explored the roles of young people in a world of rapidly changing communication and information technologies and what they can do to put youth issues on the continental agenda using the media and ICT. The concept of an African Centre for Media and Information Literacy took roots from this conference.