Long walk to press freedom in Africa?
Each year, Reporters Without Borders ranks countries according to the degree of freedom the media enjoys. The list for 2018 shows that press freedom varies considerably across Africa. While Ghana, Namibia and South Africa score high, countries such as Eritrea, Sudan, Burundi, Somalia and Egypt are at the bottom. What is the situation for the free media on the African continent? And how do the challenges influence transparency, accountability and the rule of law?
It’s difficult to raise the issue of freedom of the media in Africa today without talking about the worrying trends in East Africa, particularly in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Restrictions, arrests, censorship and media taxes reveal the level of hostility towards the media and the shrinking civic space. At the same time Zimbabwe, Angola and Gambia has seen a positive development after the departure of their autocratic presidents. But how to ensure that this development will not be short-lived?
Introduction by Joachim Nahem, founder and managing partner of The Governance Group. Leading governance and risk expert. Former expert for the Mo Ibrahim index.
Charles Onyango-Obbo, author, journalist and former editor of Mail & Guardian Africa. Works with his own digital media unit in Kenya.
Maren Sæbø, freelance journalist, editor of Bundu and board member of SKUP. Has written extensively on Angola and other African countries.
Bård Andreassen, professor at the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights. More than 30 years experience from research in Africa and Asia.
Jan Speed will be the moderator. Speed is an author, journalist and the web editor for Bistandsaktuelt.