Public Service Broadcasting in East Africa

Conference on Broadcasting Policy and Legislation :

East Africa and Great Lakes Region


Nairobi, Kenya

8-10 October 2001

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Organised by Article 19 Africa office, the meeting was attended by representatives of a wide range of institutions and organisations including both public and private media pratitioners, academics, satellite providers, regulatory bodies, NGOs, international organisations and governmental institutions. Were present media professionals from East Africa and Great Lakes region, namely Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi and from South Africa, the United Kingdom.

Were also present ressource persons from West Africa namely Prof Kwame Karikari, executive Director of Media Foundation for West Africa based in Ghana, Malam Nasir Danladi Bako, Director general of National Broadcasting Commission of Nigeria and myself Gabriel Ayite Baglo, Regional Coordinator of the IFJ-WAJA Media For Democracy in Africa Programme, representing WAJA at the meeting.

The meeting discussed many issues including principles of broadcasting and regulation, public service broaddcasting, legal framework for broadcasting, the rights and obligations on broadcasters, satellite broadcasting, diversity and local Content in broadcasting, Community broadcasting, ownership and Control.

Many objectives were assigned to the conference :

-Raise awareness on broadcasting policy issues affecting the two subregions ;

-Reflect on how advocacy around broadcasting policy issues can improve pluralism and diversity, and advance the work of broadcasting;

-Develop alliances and networks around broadcasting policy issues ;

-Raise commitment for broadcasters to include in their future work advocacy for broadcasting policy reforms ;

-Agree on future action steps focusing on particular broadcasting policy areas or issues.

The Nairobi conference appeared to be a follow up of the windoeck conference on May 3, 2001, whereby Article 19, AMARC and broadcasters insisted and succeeded to obtain the windhoeck statement on African charter on broadcasting 2001.

The conference eventually adopted the Nairobi statement on broadcasting that will serve as a guide for advocacy in broadcasting policies and legislation in the two regions and the rest of Africa.