African Media Stakeholders have launched an online platform to promote journalists’ safety and end impunity on crimes against media workers across Africa.
The digital platform, which was officially launched by the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) and President of South Africa, President, Cyril Ramaphosa, will provide opportunity for monitoring, reporting and follow-up on cases of attacks against journalists across Africa.
While speaking at the launch, President Ramaphosa said, “the media has a crucial role to play in the historic and continent-wide movement by Africans to build a continent of their dreams.
“Our march towards the achievement of the aspirations of Agenda 2063 – of the Africa we want – requires that we nurture and protect a free and independent media.
“It requires that we vigorously defend the right of journalists to do their work, to write, to publish and to broadcast what they like, even if we disagree with some or all of it.
“Africa is on the march to entrench a culture of human rights, democracy, gender equality, inclusion, peace, prosperity, security for all citizens and unfettered media freedom and independence.
“The Digital Platform for the Safety of Journalists in Africa is an important tool in promoting the safety of journalists and other media workers across Africa,” he added.
The platform aims to contribute to the achievement of the expected results in the amended Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa (2019) and the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.
The platform shall promote Partnerships, Prevention, Protection and Prosecution of perpetrators of crimes against journalists (4Ps) in Africa, by promoting the principles, national and regional coordination mechanisms which enhance the safety of journalists and combating impunity in crimes against them in Africa.
The expected results is an enabling environment for the media to operate in AU member states, through respect for the rights of journalists and media workers and the end to impunity for crimes against journalists in Africa.
The Platform is set up by the African media stakeholders through a steering committee chaired by the African Editors Forum (TAEF) and comprised of The Federation of African Journalists (FAJ), The Africa Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), UNESCO Addis Ababa Liaison Office to the AU and UNECA, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and with technical guidance from the Council of Europe (CoE) Platform on Promotion and the Protection of the Safety of Journalists. The technical set up is with the financial support from UNESCO Multidonor Programme for the Freedom of Expression and the Safety of Journalists.