The leading Press freedom and media development organisations from 15 West African countries have gathered in Accra for a three-day conference and strategy meeting hosted by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA).
The meeting commenced with a conference on media and participatory governance on March 15, 2016. The conference was opened by Ghana’s Minister for Communications, Dr. Edward Omane Boamah, with Mr. Cheriff Moumina Sy, a respected journalist and President of Burkina Faso’s erstwhile Transitional Parliament as the keynote speaker.
The conference also featured speeches by representatives from UNESCO, the ECOWAS Commission, the Embassy of the United States of America in Accra and the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA).
Participants at the conference deliberated on challenges to press freedom and professional journalism in West Africa; and ways in which the media can contribute to good governance and development in the region.
The second day of the meeting is dedicated to capacity building for the press freedom organisations with whom the MFWA work on freedom of expression and media development advocacy across West Africa. The training is focused on safety of journalists, digital rights and Access to Information (ATI) advocacy strategies.
The last day of the meeting will focus on strategising for effective national and regional advocacy for passage and implementation of RTI legislation; improving media professionalism, press freedom and free expression online and offline in the West Africa region.
The conference and strategy meeting was organised with funding support from OSIWA, Fesmedia Africa, the Embassy of the United States in Ghana and Global Partners Digital.