Africa: UNESCO’s New Publication on Media Legislation in Africa

Regulation & Policy

With support from UNESCO, a publication on media legislation in Africa has just been released, result of a research undertaken by a team of African scholars, coordinated by Professor Guy Berger, Head of the School of Journalism and Media Studies at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa.

The study, entitled "Media Legislation in Africa: A Comparative Legal Survey", includes an overview of the existing media legislation in ten multi-party democratic countries in Africa and a comparative analysis, whilst also putting the legislation in perspective with regional and international standards and best-practices in the field of media law conducive to freedom of expression. The countries surveyed are Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.

According to the coordinator, Professor Berger: «This book puts country laws in an international and African context, and it also generates recommendations that apply to both the ten states in the study as well as others.”

Abdul Waheed Khan, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information, says, in the foreword of the study: “I fully share the hope of the research coordinator that this study will add to the impetus in Africa for the continent not just to fulfill human rights, but to take its rightful place in the world as an exemplary place in this respect. Let us remind ourselves that the date on which the Windhoek Declaration on Promoting Independent and Pluralistic African Press was adopted in 1991, May 3, has become the date of the celebration of World Press Freedom Day worldwide.”

At the launch of the book at the Highway Africa Annual Journalism Conference held in September at Rhodes University, some 500 hundred copies of the publication were distributed to media professionals from the whole of Africa.