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Expert conference

Media Law Reform in Africa

Despite few exceptions, freedom of press and independence of journalists is not guaranteed in many African countries. This conference aims to provide a forum for discussion and exchange towards a Media Law Reform in sub-Saharan Africa.

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More than 20 years after the Windhoek Declaration, African media still face far too many attacks on freedom of the press and the independence of journalists. While some countries – like Ghana – have changed their media laws for the better, in most other countries media law has either not been reformed since colonial times, or reforms have led to equally problematic laws. Recent examples of the latter are the so-called “secrecy bill”, passed by parliament in South Africa as well as the bill on the new Communications and Multimedia Appeals Tribunal in Kenya.

Still, the Windhoek Declaration was not in vain. Nowadays, a strong phalanx of journalists, NGOs and political bodies work in the field of media law reform in Africa:

  • the decriminalization of defamation campaign lobbies in many countries in order to get rid of insult laws that endanger the freedom of expression,
  • the Pan-African Parliament highlighted the need for media law reform with its Midrand Declaration,
  • the Media Legal Defense Initiative supports journalists in court cases.
  • Funders like Open Society Foundation support a substantial amount of projects to improve media law in the region

KAS Media Africa believes that this phalanx has huge potential, and wants to contribute to increased and improved cooperation between the different organizations.

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Cape Town, South Africa


  • Pansy Tlakula - African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights
    • representatives from Article 19
      • CHR at University of Pretoria
        • MISA
          • MLDI
            • MLWA
              • OSF
                • PAP
                  • SALC
                    • TAEF and WAN-IFRA


                      Working together for more Fairness in Africa’s Media Landscape: A Report on the Media Law Reform in Africa Conference in Cape Town by Christian Echle and Katharina Lang
                      read now

                      Christian Echle

                      Christian Echle bild

                      Head of the Department Asia and Pacific

             +49 (0) 30 26996 3534

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