The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today called on French authorities and the Organising Committee of the Franco-African Summit to review its unfair accreditation procedures for the meeting, which will prevent many African journalists from covering the event.
The IFJ is backing a call by the Association of the Pan-African Press (APPA) and by its French affiliate SNJ to change its conditions for accreditation for the Summit, which currently exclude many African correspondents who are not official press cards holders and therefore have to show that they earn more than €1000 per month in order to get accreditation.
“The majority of African correspondents have no press card, unfortunately, so these rules are unfair and fail to take account of the particular nature of this summit,” said IFJ General Secretary Aidan White. “This is not simply a marginal issue, since foreign correspondents without an official press card represent more than a quarter of the members of French Center for Foreign Press (CAFE). To ensure fair and widespread coverage of the Summit in African media, the government and the organizing committee must adjust their rules.”
The IFJ says that the Summit should have broad media coverage, particularly in African countries where press freedom is still not guaranteed.
“We are calling on the French authorities to take the necessary steps to solve this problem,” White said. “Foreign correspondents need to access the Summit without administrative obstacles.”
The 24th Franco-African Summit will take place in Cannes between 14 and 18 February.
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The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 100 countries worldwide