Ivory Coast gained independence from France on August 7th, 1960. It shares boundaries with Liberia, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana. After more than a decade of economic crisis due to a civil war, Ivory Coast is now ranked among the 25 poorest countries in the world and democratically one of the unstable countries in West Africa. It relies heavily on agriculture
Overview of Media and FOE Environment
Though the constitution provides for free expression and a free press, the government imposes significant restrictions on print and electronic media, especially on the state owned media in Côte d’Ivoire. Free expression and media freedom however continues to witness improvement despite records of suppression and violations of media rights by ruling governments.
Côte d’Ivoire, like any other country with oppressed media is experiencing major challenges such as lack of professionalism, weak managerial capacity, weak training institutions and low logistical capacity.
Over the years, the Opposition political groups have always complained about governmental manoeuvres intended to prevent them from expressing themselves through the state media.
Media regulatory bodies in ivory coast include the Council for Broadcast Communication (CNCA), National Council for the Print Media (CNP)and the Guide of Newspaper Publishers of Côte d’Ivoire (GEPCI).
Legal Regulatory Framework for Media Operation
The legal framework of the media in the Ivory Coast is governed by the following laws:
• Order No 2008-133 of April 14, 2008 on “adjustments to the electoral law for the end of crisis elections”
• Decree No. 200-743 of October 4, 2000 “ defining the modalities of access of presidential candidates s to the official media
• Article 30, new paragraphs 3 and 4, equal access of presidential candidate to the public broadcast and print media
• Guide to media coverage of election, May 28, 2008
• Law 2004-643 of December 14, 2004 on legal regime of the print media
• Law 2004-644 of December 14, 2004, pertaining to broadcast communication.
MFWA’s in Cote d’Ivoire
The MFWA has been carrying out media rights monitoring, media capacity building, and media development interventions in Ivory Coast for the past fifteen years. The organisation started work in Ivory Coast at a time when there was repression against the media and free expression. The MFWA’s work has contributed immensely to achieving the current improved conditions of press freedom and free expression.
The MFWA continues to monitor media rights violations in the country. MFWA’s Future engagements in Ivory Coast will strongly focus on media development for participatory and accountable governance; and internet/digital rights advocacy to enhance online freedom and democratic consolidation