The International Federation of Journalists today welcomed the formation of the Association of Journalists Unions in the North of Africa, which will act as the regional body of journalists’ trade unions in the media industry in the region.
This ground-breaking development was announced on Friday at the 6th Congress of the National Moroccan Syndicate of the Press (SNPM), an IFJ affiliate, in Rabat, Morocco.
The new association will include IFJ affiliates and potential affiliates in the region, comprising the SNPM, the Algerian National Syndicate of Journalists (SNJ), the Tunisian National Syndicate of Journalists (SNJT), the Association of Journalists of Libya (AJL) and the Association of Journalists of Mauritania (AJM).
“This is great news for all African journalists,” said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. “The IFJ has succeeded in completing the make up of its continental organisation, the African Federation of Journalists, launched last November in Abuja, Nigeria. “
The Association of Journalists Union in the North of Africa will be the fifth regional group to operate within the framework of the Federation of African Journalists. The others are the Western African Journalists’ Association, the South African Journalists’ Association, the East African Journalists’ Association and the Union of Trade Unions and Professional Journalists’ Associations of Central Africa.
Speaking at the opening of the Congress in Rabat, Boumelha added that “this new sub-regional organisation is set to become a major force in enforcing trade union development in the media industry in the North of Africa, addressing professional and social matters as well as protecting and defending freedom of expression and information.”
Leaders of the four unions agreed a protocol setting out a timetable for establishing general principles and guidelines for statutes and a working programme to be launched at a forthcoming congress in the summer.
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The IFJ is the world’s largest journalists’ group with more than 600,000 members