MFWA engages African countries to promote free speech

This week, the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) is engaged in continental missions on activities related to the promotion of freedom of expression, access to information, continental networking of free expression organisations,  and access to justice in Africa .

These activities are taking place concurrently in Johannesburg (South Africa) and Addis Ababa (Ethiopia).

In Johannesburg, the MFWA’s Programme Officer for Media, Democracy and development, Abigail Larbi, will be part of Civil Society Groups discussing Access to Information issues at the General Assembly of the Africa Freedom of Information Centre (AFIC).

Ms. Abigail, who represents the MFWA on the Steering Committee of AFIC, will also be briefing civil society representatives on a newly formed continental network of free expression and media development organisations known as the African Freedom of Expression Exchange (AFEX).

 Later in the week, on January 30, AFEX will hold its first General Meeting also in Johannesburg.

The AFEX network, which has the MFWA as its Secretariat, brings together nine free expression and media rights organisations from across the continent. The members of AFEX are the MFWA (Ghana); Media Institute of Southern Africa (Namibia); Media Rights Agenda (Nigeria); West Africa Journalists’ Association (Mali); AFIC (Uganda), Journaliste en Danger (D.R. Congo); National Union of Somali Journalists (Somalia); Human Rights Network for Journalists (Uganda); and Centre for Media Studies and Peace Building (Liberia).

In Addis Ababa, the MFWA is part of civil society groups engaged in continental advocacy for the promotion of International Criminal Justice (ICJ) in Africa. 

The advocacy in Addis Ababa, which is taking place on the sidelines of the ongoing 22nd Summit of the African Union (AU), involves meetings with Diplomats and officials on the need to strengthen ICJ processes on the continent including the need for African governments to support the work of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The MFWA also presented a position paper titled: “What AU Leader should Reflect on Before Further Actions on ICC” which has been featured in an advocacy document published by the Kenyan Chapter of the International Commission of Jurist. 

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