May 25 is significant on the African calendar because it is the day that Africa recommitted to self-determination and liberation of the continent from colonialism. It represents the African aspiration to unity, liberty, dignity and justice. The first 50 years of African unity saw the full liberation of the continent from colonialism and opened a new era of intra-African cooperation.
Under Agenda 2063, Africa charts the path to the transformation that will deliver inclusive and sustainable development, deepen economic and political integration and basic freedoms.
FAJ fully identifies with those goals and rallies African journalists to play their role in promoting continental integration, democratic governance and peace and security.
It is, however, worth remembering that progress can only be achieved in an environment in which there is peace and in which citizens can enjoy freedom of expression and other democratic rights without consequences.
“We take this opportunity to remind African governments and the African Union, that as we celebrate this acclaimed day, journalists in Africa face many obstacles to the fulfilment of their role as society’s informers,” observed FAJ President Sadiq Ibrahim Ahmed.
“Far from being seen as partners, in many places in Africa, journalists continue to face unjustified restraints to the exercise of their profession. They suffer routine harassment, violent attacks, poor pay and unjust laws. Africa’s long-term vision cannot be achieved unless journalists are allowed the freedom to play their watchdog role, work in decent conditions and enjoy personal security,” the FAJ President added.
FAJ and its affiliates commit to ensure that professional journalism takes root in the continent. In the era of the disinfodemic, and the growing threat to professional journalism, FAJ also calls on African governments to initiate policies and meaningful action that support the survival and growth of legacy media.