ACP Press Clubs come together to launch milestone federation
Kigali, Rwanda, 26 October 2016/ ACP: Leaders of press clubs and press centres from across Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific gathered in Kigali on 20 and 21 October during a pioneering congress, which culminated in the adoption of a charter officially founding the ACP Press Clubs Federation (ACP-PCF).
The ACP-PCF aims to establish a network of national press clubs or press centres, working in collaboration to strengthen the viability and professionalism of media bodies in ACP regions, and to foster intra-ACP communication, cooperation, and networking with similar international bodies around the world.
Co-organised by the ACP Secretariat, the Kigali Press Club and the Brussels EU Press Club, the ACP Congress of Press Clubs was opened by the CEO of the Rwanda Governance Board (RGB) Prof. Anastase Shyaka, with the EU Ambassador to Rwanda H.E Michael Ryan, Acting Sub-Regional Director for Eastern Africa at the UN’s Economic Commission for Africa Mr. Andrew Mold, and Secretary General of the International Association of Press Clubs Mr. Jaroslaw Wlodarczyk delivering opening statements.
In his keynote address, the Head of the RGB Prof. Anastase Shyaka stressed the “shared responsibility for all ACP member states to strengthen the media sector in order to enhance its contribution towards the achievement of our intended developmental goals.”
“The media remains unarguably a vital driver of sustainable development and a major pillar of democracy and good governance… On the other hand, the weakness of media in Africa and in other developing countries is neither a legacy nor a fatality. It is time for the media in the ACP regions to wake up and position itself in the global landscape to accurately tell our own story.”
It is expected that the network will also be a key platform through which the ACP Group, as an organisation, engages with the media in member countries, in facilitating public awareness on ACP and ACP-EU development issues.
According to the Chef de Cabinet of the ACP Secretariat, Amb. Mamour Alieu Jagne, who represented the ACP Secretary General H.E. Dr. Patrick Gomes at the event, “The ACP Group has been taking concrete steps to reinforce its working relations with non-state actors. These include establishing a Civil Society Forum from ACP countries, as well as platforms for interface with the private sector. To date however, no comparable forum exists in relation to the press and media from ACP countries; hence the need for a Federation of ACP Press Clubs”.
Over the course of two days, more than 40 congress participants, made up largely of Presidents and Directors of national press clubs or press associations in all six regions of the ACP Group, held lively discussions about their experiences on the ground, including challenges, opportunities and best practices.
Participants brainstormed on the governance structure, funding mechanisms and activities for the ACP-PCF, seeking out those which would make it most effective and sustainable. They concluded by adopted a founding charter which outlines the general aims, methods of working, and basic structures of the Federation.
Interim Executive Board
An interim Executive Board, constituted of regional representatives from Eastern, Southern Central and West Africa as well as the Pacific and Caribbean, was elected to work intensely in the coming months to push the initiative forward. Coordination and support of the ACP-PCF activities shall be based in Brussels for the first two years beginning 2017.
Members of the board include:
President of the Kigali Press Club Mr. Gaspard Safari (Chair)
President of the Bahamas Press Club Mr. Anthony Newbold
President of the Barbados Media Association and Representative of the Caribbean Media Workers Association Ms. Jewel Forde
President of the Journalists’ Association of Samoa Mr. Lance Polu
President of the Media Association of the Solomon Islands Mr. Leni Dalavera
Group Editor-in-Chief at Nation Media Group (Kenya) Mr. Tom Mshindi
President of the Malagasy Press Centre Ms. Anny Andrianaivonirina
President of the National Press Club of South Africa Mr. Josias Chale
President of the Press Club of Senegal Mr. Abdou Gningue
Secretary General of the Ghana Journalists Association Mr. Dave Agbenu
President of the Maison des Médias du Tchad Mr. Mahamat Abderamane Souleymane
Secretary General of the Fédération Syndicale des Travailleurs de la Communication de la République de Congo (Brazzaville) Mr. Edouard Adzotsa
“The purpose of this Congress is to bring together National Press Clubs of African, Caribbean and Pacific countries in the first ever congress of its kind, with a view to establishing a dynamic and sustainable umbrella Federation of ACP Press Clubs… We leave this Congress with a clear message of what we intend to be and demand our place in international arena,” added the elected Chairman of the Interim Executive Board and President of the Kigali Press Club Mr. Gaspard Safari.
The interim Executive Board was charged with putting together proposals that would be submitted to the next General Assembly, anticipated to take place in 2018.
(Photos from top: Group photo of participants and speakers; CEO of the Rwanda Governance Board Prof. Anastase Shyaka addresses the meeting, seated alongside the EU Ambassador Michael Ryan, the ACP Chef de Cabinet Amb. Mamour Alieu Jagne and the President of the Kigali Press Club Mr. Gaspard Safari; President of the Malagasy Press Centre Ms. Anny Adrianaivonirina and other partipants during the meeting)
For more information, contact:
Josephine Latu-Sanft, ACP Press Office: firstname.lastname@example.org or +32 2 7430617
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