Building coalitions for media reform in Sub-Saharan Africa: A consultation for improving local, regional, and global action

5-6 July 2017
Durban, South Africa

A group of 36 experts in media and governance from 15 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa agreed to build a
multi-stakeholder network of non-state actors working with governments, parliamentarians, and other
stakeholders to support a conducive legal, regulatory, and economic environment for media and to defend
independent voices, especially when under attack.

The network aims to be an essential resource for confronting a complex combination of global and regional
challenges to media systems that threaten to reverse the progress made on the continent in fostering
pluralism, quality journalism, and freedom of expression. Democracy and sustainable development in
Africa will depend upon defending and deepening the role of media as a source of reliable information, a
spotlight on abuse and injustice, a driver of growth, and a platform for citizen voices.

The network will focus on building broad coalitions, including media associations, human rights groups,
media outlets, legal and judicial organizations, and trade unions to work on four objective areas:
– Solidarity among proponents of independent media
– Sustainability of media outlets and markets
– An African voice in digital debates
– Media literacy and professionalism

The group further identified steps to be taken in coming months to set the network in motion:
Mapping existing networks: A mapping exercise will identify the existing stakeholders and
networks that could form the basis of this wider network.
Forming working groups: Participants agreed to form working groups aligned to the four
objective areas to elaborate specific action plans and proposals.
Developing common policy positions: The participants identified the need to formulate common
positions for advocacy on media issues at the global level and at important upcoming events on
the continent.

ACME was represented at the meeting by its Executive Director Dr Peter Mwesige

Photo: Daily Monitor

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