The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) has joined its national partner in The Gambia, the Gambia Press Union to mark this year’s World Press Freedom Day (WPFD 2017).
This year, the global event to mark the day is being observed in Jakarta, Indonesia, under the theme – Critical Minds for Critical Times: Media’s role in advancing peaceful, just and inclusive societies.
The MFWA believes the theme for this year’s celebration is significant for journalists who have worked tirelessly and have contributed immensely towards ensuring that peace and justice prevail in their societies.
The day is particularly significant for journalists and the media community in The Gambia who for the first time in 22 years, will be observing what is a true press freedom day after 22 years of repression and human rights abuses under the brutal regime of Yahya Jammeh. The Jammeh regime saw many journalists arrested, imprisoned, tortured, disappeared and killed.
Reflecting on the theme for this year’s celebration and its importance in the context of The Gambia, the Executive Director of the MFWA, Sulemana Braimah said: “The Gambia is currently in critical times and the country requires critical minds of journalists who must play a critical role in the country’s quest to build a peaceful, just and inclusive society in the post Jammeh period.
As part of the activities to mark the day, our Executive Director and the Programme Manager for Freedom of Expression, Dora B. Mawutor, joined a procession by the GPU through the principal streets of the Gambian capital, Banjul.
The procession ended with the presentation of a position paper to the Minister for Information and Communications Infrastructure, Hon. Demba Ali Jawo. The MFWA team was also part of a symposium at the University of The Gambia.
While we are in The Gambia celebrating WPFD 2017, the MFWA takes the opportunity to salute journalists and the media community across West Africa who are driving change and advancing peaceful, just and inclusive societies.