The MFWA has been working in Côte d’Ivoire since the organisation was set up. The focus of MFWA’s interventions in the country has been to promote press freedom and freedom of expression, and media development. In 2014, the organisation started internet freedom and digital rights advocacy in the country as well.
The MFWA started work in Côte d’Ivoire at a time when there was repression against the media and free expression. The MFWA’s work in the country has, thus, contributed immensely to achieving the current improved conditions of press freedom and free expression.
L’Observatoire de la Liberté de la Presse, l’Ethique et de la Déontologie (OLPED) is Media Foundation’s partner organisation in Côte d’Ivoire. It is a self-regulatory media organisation in Côte d’Ivoire that promotes and defends the ethics and code of conduct of journalists. Since the partnership in 2014, the MFWA has been working collaboratively with OLPED in all country-level engagements and advocacy.
MFWA’s Projects and Activities in Côte d’Ivoire
Some of the projects and activities undertaken in Côte d’Ivoire by the MFWA on both press freedom and media development include:
- Press freedom and freedom of expression promotion, campaigns and protection (online and offline)
- Promoting safety of journalists and countering impunity for crimes against journalists
- Promoting free, independent, and quality media through experience sharing and capacity building
- Research and publication on media developments in Côte d’Ivoire
Some of the specific activities undertaken in the country include monitoring and reporting of online and offline freedom of expression violations and advocacy for redress; engagements with government and other critical stakeholders on safety of journalists and media rights issues; capacity building workshops and a number of publications including “The Media and the Political Crisis in Côte d’Ivoire” “The Law and the Media in Côte d’Ivoire.”
About Côte d’Ivoire
Ivory Coast gained independence from France on August 7, 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, Côte d’Ivoire is 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 continue 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 their dissenting views through the state media.
Media regulatory bodies in Côte d’Ivoire 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 Côte d’Ivoire 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.