AMDF Foundation Calls On African Countries To Take Steps To Protect Journalists

By Sani Yarima 

Africa Media Development Foundation (AMDF) has AMDF called on African authorities to take more steps towards protecting journalists and providing them the needed space to operate.

The call was made in a statement released to newsmen by Zhiroh Jatau, Manager, Press Freedom, AMDF to mark the 2024 Press Freedom Day.

It felicitated African Journalists on the celebration and called on the Media to promote a safe environment. 

The day was set aside to uphold the importance of the Press by ensuring freedom, respect, and accountability.

The 2024 Press Freedom theme, “A Press for the Planet: Journalism in the Face of Environmental Crisis” seeks to draw attention to the importance of the planet Earth and the need for journalists to promote a safe environment. 

As such, the statement emphasized that the need to create a clean and green society for the future should be paramount. 

The statement reads in parts “This begs for intensive investigation and exposure of companies and entities that are involved in negative exploitation of resources and polluting the earth.

“Mindful of the Tripple planetary crisis that impacts human lives, i.e., Climate change, Pollution, and Biodiversity loss, there is an urgent need for the media to stand on its agenda-setting role and push for the protection of the environment.

“It is noteworthy, that freedom of the Press is imperative for society to thrive. The press is the voice of the people to their leaders, whether in a democracy or otherwise (knowing our peculiarity in Africa). 

“Countries like Ghana, Namibia, Nigeria, and Cape Verde have provisions in their constitutions that reflect role, or protection for the press, but these legal safeguards do not always translate to full press freedom in practice.

“Reports show that at the beginning of 2024, there were about 70 journalists incarcerated in various countries of Africa. Most of them in cases related to investigative stories on corruption. This shows how vulnerable African journalists are.

“Sadly, we continue to witness increasing attacks on the press in countries like Eritrea, Egypt, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Somalia, Kenya, Sudan, and Mali, where journalists are detained, and media houses invaded because of their work.

“As the fourth estate of the realm, the Press should be provided a conducive atmosphere to play its role in governance and development,” the statement concluded.

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