African media people to craft a future of rights
To counter the critical situations and threats, African editors, journalists and media stakeholders are going to meet in Lusaka, Zambia from May 11-13, 2023 to spotlight the link between press freedom, and freedom of expression as a driver of other freedoms and human rights African editors, journalists and media stakeholders are to craft a future of rights on the continent at the 2nd Africa Media Convention (AMC).
Over 300 media personnel are to attend the conference held under the 2023 World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) theme “Shaping a Future of Rights: Freedom of Expression as a driver for all other human rights.”
The 2nd African Media Convention will be hosted by the Southern Africa Editors’ Forum (SAEF) and the 16-member Media Liaison Committee (MLC) in Zambia, under the auspices of a steering committee and subcommittees drawn from Media stakeholders, UNESCO and the African Union Commission.
The first such Convention was held in Arusha, Tanzania in 2022 and was hosted by the East African Editors Society (EAES) and the Tanzania Editors’ Forum (TEF).
The continent–wide media event will be officiated by the President of Zambia H.E Hakainde Hichilema while the previous event which took place in Arusha in 2022 was graced by the presence of the Tanzanian President H.E Samia Suluhu Hassan, raising the stakes of the important role of the media and the support of African Heads of State.
The 2nd African Media Convention comes shortly after the first Press Freedom and Safety of Journalists’ Assessment Report in Africa was released in November 2022, indicating a mixed bag of achievements and challenges.
In addition, Africa was home to the adoption of the Windhoek+30 Declaration in 2021, which stresses the need for all governments to create positive enabling environments for freedom of expression, and access to information, both online and offline, in line with international guarantees of these rights.
Furthermore, across the continent, several journalists and online content creators have been arrested, detained and some prosecuted or even killed. The authorities have largely relied on the retrogressive laws and/or penal codes to do this.
The need for the continent to align to the Declaration of Principles of Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa is more urgent than ever, as it is to highlight best practices across the continent. These principles anchor the rights to freedom of expression and access to information in conformance with Article 9 of the African Charter, which guarantees individuals the right to receive information as well as the right to disseminate information.
A Declaration is to be issued at the end of Convention, said the press note.