African Union Chairperson H.E President Cyril Ramaphosa will officiate the launch.
The IFJ and FAJ worked with the UNESCO Addis Office, The African Editors Forum (TAEF), AU Africa Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and Article 19 to create the Digital Platform for the Safety of Journalists in Africa. The aim of this platform is to improve the protection of journalists, address threats and violence, create early warning mechanisms and improve the response from African states in protecting journalists and media freedom.
At the launch event the African Union Chairperson and President of the Republic of South Africa President H.E Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver a keynote address, launching the project. President of Burkina Faso Marc Roc Christian Kabore has sent a message of support for the platform.
Other speakers include UNESCO Director General Audrey Azoulay, African Union Commission Deputy Chairperson H.E Ambassador Thomas Kwesi-Quartey and H.E Commissioner Jamesina King, the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa at the African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights (AU- ACPHR).
IFJ President Younes M’Jahed will speak alongside Louis Thomasi representing the Federation of African Journalists.
Mr M’Jahed said: “We are proud to have been part of developing this historic initiative which is a sign of our commitment to turning the fine words about the protection of journalists and media freedom in to action. As African journalists it is vital we make use of this platform to demand states act to tackle impunity and enhance the protection of journalists and journalism”.
The initiative is supported through a multi-stakeholder partnership by AU bodies, journalists unions, media networks, CSOs and UNESCO.
This digital platform is critical in creating a rapid and real time response system by the African Union Member States, with a view to ending the rampant impunity in the harassment, arbitrary arrests, assault and killing of journalists in Africa.
The Platform is designed to address at the continental level, sub regional and nationally, media freedom violations that are increasing at an alarming rate. This is to be achieved through real time monitoring, reporting and follow-up actions to combat impunity on the rampant crimes against journalists on the continent.
Cases of arrests, torture, harassment and other media rights violations will be reported to the African Union through H.E Commissioner Jamesina King, the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa at the African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights (AU- ACPHR) to address the concerns based on the mandate of her office.