For freedom of expression and media development to flourish in Africa, there is a need to create the necessary policy, legislative and professional conditions based on the national development priorities of African Member States.
Partners can join UNESCO in its efforts to create an environment in which freedom of expression and media development can flourish in Africa. Together this can be achieved by:
- improving the enabling environment for press freedom; strengthening the safety of journalists;
- strengthening the capacities of media institutions and professionals;
- promoting and strengthening community media as enablers of the free flow of information for development.
UNESCO is the only UN agency with a constitutional mandate to “Promote the free flow of ideas by word and image”. UNESCO has over two decades of experience in providing technical advice on legal, regulatory, policy and other critical issues, as well as educating journalists and building capacities for media professionals and institutions, thus playing a strong role in the field of freedom of expression and media development. Examples of UNESCO’s recent work in this area include in the SIDA-supported project on “Empowering Local Radios with ICTs” covering 32 local radios in 7 different countries, as well as on going efforts to build the capacities of institutions specialized in journalism education and training in the context of the Global Initiative for Excellence in Journalism Education in which twelve African schools of journalism have enlisted.