By Esther Nakkazi
The African media stakeholders have launched the first digital online platform (https://
The launch was presided by Cyril Ramaphosa Chairperson of the African Union and President of the Republic of South Africa. The journalists’ safety platform will facilitate real-time response across Africa with a view to ending impunity for attacks against African journalists including harassment, arbitrary arrests, assault, and killing.
Africa’s Agenda 2063 requires that we vigorously protect the rights of journalists to do their jobs, even if we disagree with what they publish — paraphrase of @CyrilRamaphosa’s comments at the launch of the Digital Platform for Safety of Journalists in Africa.
In parts of our continent, freedom of expression and access to information are a matter of life and death, says @JovialRantao on the occasion of the launch of the Digitial Platform for Safety of Journalists in Africa.
The aim of the platform is to promote the safety of journalists across the African continent, in line with the UN Plan of Action on the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity for crimes against them, supporting the so-called Three Ps: Prevention, Protection, and Prosecution. It also aims to contribute to the achievement of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR)’s 2019 Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa.
It will constitute a cooperative mechanism to keep track of attacks against journalists in the continent and support reporting on attacks as well as follow-up actions to combat impunity. It will also help create synergies among African media stakeholders in holding the perpetrators of violence against journalists and media outlets to account.
The digital platform will monitor:
Threats to the physical integrity and security of journalists and other media actors (including bloggers, writers, human right defenders, and other persons communicating in the public interest);
Impunity in the abovementioned cases;
Threats to the confidentiality of journalists’ sources or threat to their physical integrity and security relating to their collaboration with journalists, media or human right defenders or organizations;
Threats to journalists’ privacy;
Restrictions on media freedom such as judicial and political intimidation of journalists (including hate speech and incitement to violence against journalists).
The platform was inspired by the Council of Europe’s Platform for the Protection of Journalists and Safety of Journalists and has been developed by African stakeholders, with support from UNESCO via its Multi-donor Programme for Freedom of Expression and the Safety of Journalists (MDP).
It will be sustained through a joint mobilization of partnering organizations, namely four organs of the African Union (Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa, of AU-ACHPR, the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), the African Governance Architecture (AGA), the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights), Civil Society Organizations, media networks and development partners.
This Platform belongs to all the media partners in Africa, bringing together both the rights holders and the duty bearers, with equal stakes and rights. It seeks to leverage the mandate of the African Union Organs in enhancing the promotion of the profession of journalism and the protection of its practitioners on the African continent, as important pillars for the achievement of Agenda 2063 in AU Member States.
Many times journalists think a story about journalism should not be brought to the public. The public needs to know our story so that they can help us in the journey to a better press freedom env– says @KenyaEditors’ @otienoc
In 2020, African media partners through a steering committee comprised of UNESCO, the African Editors Forum (TAEF), the African Union’s Africa Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), The Federation of African Journalists (FAJ), The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and Article 19, created the Digital Platform for the Safety of Journalists in Africa.