MISA applauds Media Freedom campaign launch in Africa

The Media Institute of Southern African (MISA) has welcomed the launch of the media freedom campaign in Africa by the Pan African Parliament (PAP).

MISA said the launch was long over due and pledged its unwavering support towards the full realization of all campaign objectives.

MISA Regional director, Zoe Titus said in a statement released to the Zambian Eye in Lusaka, Wednesday.

The campaign which was launched on Wednesday 15 May, 2013 comes in the backdrop of the parliamentary body taking fl cognizance of the benefit of a free press.

According to PAP, the launch of the programme is a cornerstone of democracy but noted that Africa does not fair well in press freedom.

“It is also seen as one of the cornerstone of democracy. Unfortunately Africa does not fair very well when it comes press freedom. In many African countries, authorities have little or no tolerance for press freedom” he adds.

“The media legislation which is in place in many African countries is either inherited from the colonial times, or was instituted by former military or civilian dictators to clamp down on criticism and dissenting voices’  read the statement in parts.

MISA has therefore expressed hope that this declaration informed by other declarations and protocols will carry weight and be respected as a key instrument in advancing media freedom.

Titus further supported calls by African Union Commission Chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma for the PAP to have greater power.

He said PAP  must have offer stronger voice to the people of Africa through universal suffrage, capable of promoting the enactment of relevant policies and laws necessary for growth and development and both national and continental level.