Congress Elects Mohamed Garba as New FAJ President




President of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ),Mohamed Garba,  has been elected today Sunday  31 March, 2013 in Casablanca (Morocco) as the new president

of the Federation of African Journalists (FAJ) following the third congress of

that continental body representing the interests of over 50,000 journalists in

Africa. Mohamed Garba replaces Omar Faruk Osman Nur, who served as FAJ

President for the past six years.



Congress in accordance with Article 9.4 and 9.5 of the FAJ Constitution,

elected a 9 members steering committee, which later elected Mohamed Garba as

the new President. In the same vein, Maria Louisa Carvalho of the Angolan

Journalists Union was elected as the Vice President of the Federation, while

Stanis Nkundiye of the National Syndicate of Media Professionals in the

Democratic Republic of Congo retains his position as the Treasurer of FAJ. Other

members of the Steering Committee include Ibrahima Khalilloulah Ndiaye

(Senegal), Alexandre Niyungeko (Burundi) Muheldin Ahmed Titawi (Sudan) Credo

Tetteh (Togo) and the former Vice President of the Federation, Foster

Dongozi,   from the Zimbabwe Union of

Journalists (ZUJ) and Mouhamed Bchir Chakakou (Tunisia).



reserve members to the Steering Committee were also elected namely, Edouard

Adzotsa (Congo Brazzaville), Collin Haba (Rwanda) and Rolland Affail Monney



his inaugural speech to the participants at the Congress, FAJ new President

Mohamed Garba, said that the primary concern of the new Steering Committee will

be to unite the affiliates in the continent and moreover to ensure that unions

in the continent are strengthened in order for them to defend the rights and

welfare of their members. The Steering Committee, he emphasised, cannot do

their work effectively without the existence of strong unions. “We will

endeavour to confront the major challenges before us and will always do the

best we can to promote respect of the rights of journalists and to promote

quality journalism in Africa”.



Garba paid tribute to the outgoing FAJ President, Omar Faruk Osman Nur, who he

said had demonstrated a lot of determination for the past six years  to ensure 

that FAJ meets objectives that it has set out for itself at its

inception. This new Steering Committee, he said, will utilise that working

programme set up by the former Steering Committee, and will not at any time

hesitate to contact and consult with Faruk, in order to tap from his wealth of




President Mohamed Garba thanked the Moroccan Union of Journalists for hosting

the Congress. He also thanked the IFJ President, Jim Boumelha for his

unflinching support to the unions in the continent and his commitment to ensure

safety and protection of journalists in Africa and the world at large. He

assured the IFJ President that he will continue to work with the IFJ in the

most effective manner and will make its doors continuously open to all the

regional associations in the continent.



two day congress was the occasion for delegates from 34 countries to have a

look at the governance and policies of the Federation. Delegates scrutinised

and discussed the activities and financial reports, debated and approved

motions, reviewed constitutional amendments and working programme for 2013-2016

as well as elected new leaders. Delegates also addressed pressing issues facing

journalists and their organisations such as increased attempts to criminalise

journalism work, working conditions in the media industry, gender equality,

safety of journalists and impunity.



the first time since FAJ has been created the congress included an event

specifically dedicated to the working programme to achieve gender equality. The pan-African gender council committee has been formally put in

place sanctioned by the congress, making FAJ the first IFJ continental

federation that has special structures dedicated to address the needs,

interests, and issues of women journalists. In this regard, the congress

elected Mrs Mounia Belafia (Morocco), Fatima Abdulkareem (Nigeria), Carla Lima

(Cape Verde), Angele Chisimba (Zambia) and Kadiatou Diallo (Guinea Conakry) as

members of the gender council committee. Delegates said they are very confident

on the new FAJ leadership on which they are expecting to score more key

successes to promote and protect the rights of journalists.



congress was hosted by the Syndicat

national de la presse marocaine (SNPM). Younes M’Jahed president of SNPM

expressed deep pleasure to welcome delegates in Morocco, and called on them to

develop more solidarity and to stand up together for a better recognition of

the work of journalists in Africa.



over the years has received recognition and support from its parent

organization, the International Federation of Journalists and claims the

position of legitimate voice of journalists and journalism in Africa. Delegates

asked the new leadership to rebrand its image in order to maintain a high-level

profile with partners and the trade union movements.



 FAJ represents 50,000 journalists in 34 countries in Africa