EAC PARLIAMENTARY WORKSHOPS Summary
Together with European Parliamentarians in Africa (AWEPA), MFA organised six national workshops on ‘Media and Politics’ to promote greater access to information with regard to parliamentary procedures, debates and coverage and to improve mutual understanding and respect between the media and parliamentarians through sustained dialogue. The workshops took place in Tanzania, Uganda, RC, DR Congo, and Kenya.
The Workshops were a follow up to the African News Media Conference held in Nairobi in August 2006. The African News Media Conference organised by Awepa, the Nation Media Group Kenya and the United Nations – affiliated University for Peace (UPEACE), examined the challenges facing Africa’s news media – as a watchdog and educator, while promoting transparent governance, preventing conflict and building peace. The final document of the Conference listed a number of recommendations, which can be summarised as follows:
- Codes of ethics between parliamentarians and the news media should be developed with regular peer review.
- Greater coverage of parliamentary proceedings by the news media should be facilitated, including the work of parliamentary committees.
- Media training for parliamentarians should be organized to enable them to interact more effectively with the news media.
The objectives of the regional workshops organized by MFA were:
- To examine the progress made since the conference held in Nairobi in August 2006 specifically with regard to the implementation of the recommendations;
• To evaluate the challenges faced during the implementation of the Nairobi Conference Recommendations;
• To promote greater access to information with regard to parliamentary procedures, debates and coverage;
• To improve mutual understanding and respect between the media and parliament through sustained dialogue;
• To explore modalities of developing a code of ethics or memorandum of understanding that will ensure harmonious relationship between the two institutions