THE HISTORY OF TAEF
|February 2006||The Kenyan Editors’ forum was launched and adopted a constitution under the leadership of Macharia Gaitho. With initiative from Kenya, meetings of editors in other countries of the East were held, such as Somalia and Sudan, to initiate national forums. It was planned to launch the region in March in Uganda.|
|The Forum Of Executive Editors in Central Africa (Freac). In Joburg, representatives from DRC, Congo-B, Chad, Gabon and Burundi set up a structure, chaired by Cyrille. They have set up commissions and each country chairs one. A delegate from Gabon was mandated to raise funds for a launch in May 2006. The media in the region welcomed the setting up of the forum and meetings were organised by each of the delegates in their own countries. Some met with their Ministers of Information. So far none of the countries has formally created a national forum – reasons are lack of funding.|
|September 2006||In September 2006, the Editors’ Council of Taef – made up of at least 3 representatives from each of the regional bodies – met for the first time at Highway Africa.
A big topic of discussion was “African News Agencies”. Recognising that Taef could not set up agencies, it was agreed the it should ensure that members had enough links to source stories or information from editors in other countries, as part of telling the African story from African sources.
A continuing topic is funding – Taef has raised money for conferences from companies in SA, and then continued its work with what was left over. In most countries this is not a traditional way of raising funds: they come from NGOs, international funders or government.
It was resolved to tackle 4 projects:
Talks with the AU
Repressive laws – we committed in 2003 and recommitted last year that we need to do a directory of all the problem laws throughout Africa.
Exchange programme – including continuous communication among editors themselves.
Survey on African news agencies – in the context of how we enhance the telling of the African story.
Later in September, On September 21 2006
In Johannesburg, South Africa
This contract is for FOUR months’ employment, from OCTOBER 1 2006 to JANUARY 31 2007, in terms of which Musa Saidykhan agrees to work as a Taef organiser to set up the Taef research project on restrictive laws of the mass media in Africa.
|February 2007||A delegation of The African Editors Forum (TAEF), joined by the Network of African Freedom of Expression Organisations (NAFEO), met in Addis Ababa on 15 and 16 February 2007 to prepare for and attend a historic working session with the top leadership of the African Union.
15 to 16 February The Taef leadership has also met with African Union Commission head Professor Alpha Konare.
On Friday, February 16, 2006, the delegation met the Chairperson of the AU Commission, Professor Alpha Oumar Konare, at the AU headquarters. During the meeting, the TAEF delegation’s proposal to designate a year as The Year of Freedom of Media and Free Expression in Africa as well as a Day of African Media was accepted by the AU leadership.
Konare also supported TAEF’s proposal to host a parallel event under the theme of African freedom of expression during the Accra AU Summit in July 2007.
The Chairperson was accompanied by the Commissioner for Political Affairs, the Chief of Staff of Bureau of the Chairperson, a representative of the Legal Counsel and the Head of Communication and Information. The two delegations discussed the state of the media in Africa and deliberated on ways that the AU could ensure that governments that sign up to protocols to respect freedom of expression and freedom of the media are made to live up to those declarations.
Prof Konare concluded by restating the AU’s firm commitment to the principles of media freedom, and proposed that TAEF and the AU establish a close working relationship for the common cause.
The TAEF/ NAFEO delegation comprised Mr Tsedu, Mr Saidou Arji, Ms Emrakeb Assefa and Mr Macharia Gaitho.
|Feb 2007||Sy said in Burkino Faso he is organising a festival in February around media freedom. He will send the documents and would like to invite people to attend.
|Cape Town, June 7 2007. 68 editors met – open to all African Editors at the WAN/WEF conference.|
|TAEF MANCOM REPORT FROM GHANA – JUNE 29 TO JULY 2 2007
1. ASSISTANCE FROM MFWA
In consultations at WAN/WEF in Cape Town, Kwame Karikari offered the administrative help of MFWA to get Taef editors to Accra for the AU summit, and for a meeting beforehand. In addition, he offered to sponsor five Taef editors to attend a conference beforehand (finally, 6 were sponsored).
The aim of the meeting was to finalise the Taef speakers and the content of their contributions and questions to the presidents, and the time allotted to these. This was complicated by not knowing whether the speaker from the South region, Rob Jamieson, would still arrive; the presence of editors from the North region who had not been participants to Taef preparations in Cape Town in early June; and a lack of finality about arrangements for the Editors-Presidents debate.
SUNDAY JULY 1 AND MONDAY JULY 2
Prior to the opening ceremony of the AU summit, it became apparent that journalists would be restricted to the media tents, except for limited access of broadcast camera people. There were many reactions to this, which have been reported in the media. At the same time, it became apparent to Taef leaders that the delays in arrival of AU presidents for the summit and attending events would also jeopardise our debate with presidents. At first it was suggested that the debate happen on the Tuesday, just before the end of the AU summit, and then it was necessary to acknowledge that it was not possible for the debate to occur within the allotted timeframes.
Nonetheless, Taef editors continued to meet during these events in order to organise events.
It was decided at short notice that Taef should hold the Book Launch on Sunday afternoon in the Media Centre. Noticed were put up and around 5pm the book launch was held for the “50 years of Journalism” publication. Taef members as well as broadcast and other media attended, and over 100 copies of the book, in English and French, were distributed. This is the first time the French edition was available – the English edition had been distributed at the WAN/WEF conference at the beginning of June. Ghana’s deputy minister of Education and Sports attended and was given copies of the book.
However, due to co-operation with AU and Nepad structures, the understanding is that an editors-presidents debate can be built into future AU summit agendas. In addition, Taef will continue to lobby for a year of African media freedom and for an annual day to be declared by the AU.
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA, 4 JUNE 2007
|November 2007||3RD BIENNIAL AFRICAN EDITORS’ CONFERENCE AND
THE AFRICAN EDITORS’ FORUM (TAEF) BIANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
NAIROBI, KENYA – NOVEMBER 4 AND 5 2007
THEME: MEDIA LEADERSHIP, ELECTIONS AND DEMOCRACY IN AFRICA
By Bitange Ndemo, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Communications (standing in for Mutahi Kagwe, Minister of Information and Communication
Professor Michael Unger (USA) – Global economic trends: Africa and the media.
Management Committee report from Secretary General: of the in 2007 biannual meeting held in Nairobi where he singled out some of the key challenges as;
· -Strengthening the regions
· -Strengthening networks among ourselves to tell the African story better.
· -Strengthening media freedom by keeping tight vigilance on developments that affect media. TAEF currently does not have the power to do sensitize African Governments on the emerging issues from an African point of view.
· Establishing a working relationship with the African Union.
Followed in January 2008 by OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT MWAI KIBAKI, RAILA ODINGA AND AU CHAIRPERSON OF COMMISSION PROF ALPHA OUMAR KONARÉ AND CHAIRPERSON OF AU PRESIDENT JOHN KUFUOR
Following our experience of the enthusiasm of the elections, protesting behaviour of the marauding squads of killers tarnish our name as Africans and we stand to say, for all to hear: NOT IN OUR NAME! calling for leadership and in particular, we call for the immediate lifting of the restriction on live broadcasting, which was imposed on December 30. So that media people can do their jobs.
|May 2008||WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY STATEMENT FROM THE AFRICAN EDITORS’ FORUM (TAEF)
MAY 3 2008
The African Editors’ Forum welcomes the launch of the Eastern Africa Editor’s Forum in Nairobi, Kenya, this weekend as a positive development for press freedom internationally.
Sixty senior editors from the East African countries of Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Somalia and Sudan are meeting to launch the forum and to discuss the role of editors in promoting press freedom and the regulations and laws effecting the media in the region. They are considering the creation of a regional code of ethics which can be a benchmark for journalism conduct in the region, as well as looking at how editors in all the media can play a leading role against corruption and bad governance, and to promote the right of access to information.
This is the third region of Africa to launch a forum.
|Nov 2008||Jean Ping
The Chairperson of the African Union Commission
This note is intended to serve two purposes.
1) A belated congratulations on your appointment as Chairperson of the AU Commission.
2) An introduction of The African Editors’ Forum (TAEF) to yourself and a request for a meeting to pick up on issues raised and agreed to with your predecessor, Professor Alpha Konare.
We note with appreciation that since you took over the amount of media communication from the AU has increased dramatically
The two delegations also agreed on a need to open dialogue between the political leadership of our continent and editors. This was to have been effected through a debate between five editors and five Presidents or Heads of Governments at the extraordinary session of the AU held in Accra in July last year.
Indeed a perusal of the agenda of that session in Accra would reveal that this was on the agenda but had to be cancelled due to time constraints as the “Big Debate” on the unification of the continent went beyond the expected time.
We also agreed that there was need for continued dialogue between TAEF and the AU, which could assist in even planning media coverage and facilities needed during main events at the AU headquarters and in ensuring ongoing coverage of the AU.
I revisit these agreements and points to simply bring to Your Excellency’s attention some of the work already discussed and agreed between ourselves and the AU Commission.
And a possible meeting
|July 2009||A Taef delegation will meet President Jacob Zuma on July 24 to brief him – as Chair of the SADC, as a member of the heads of state of the African Union and as SA president – on the work of The African Editors’ Forum and the challenges facing media practitioners on the continent, and to lobby for his support. This meeting was requested by Taef.
The meeting will take place at 11am at the Presidential Guesthouse in Pretoria. A statement will be issued afterwards.
The Taef delegation will be:
1) Mathatha Tsedu, Chairperson TAEF (RSA)
2) Cheriff SY, Deputy Chairperson TAEF (Burkina Faso)
3) Rosemary Okello, General Secretary TAEF (Kenya)
4) Elizabeth Barratt, Treasurer TAEF (RSA)
5) Jovial Rantao, Chairperson SANEF and member of SAEF Executive (RSA)
6) Thabo Leshilo, Chairperson SANEF Media Freedom Sub Committee (RSA)
7) Pansy Tlakula, Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights
To achieve this we opened a dialogue with the AU Commission when Professor Alpha Konare was in charge. We agreed on a number of issues, one of which was for a debate between editors and a number of Presidents at the AU summit in Accra, Ghana, in 2007. The debate was cancelled due to time constraints. We had also agreed on the need to have an Africa Media Day which would popularise the role of media in democracy and social development.
Since Prof Konare’s departure we have tried unsuccessfully to reopen the dialogue. It is one of the things we hope you might be able to help us with.
|Sept 2009||5. Report from the meeting with South African President Jacob Zuma by Mathatha Tsedu
6. Discussion on TAEF’s bi-annual meeting- Cheriff Sy
7. Digital Indaba briefing:
8. Discussions with IPS- : Paula Fray/ Govin Reddy
10. Resolutions and the way forward
The European Union and the African Union have made a proposal to set up a pan-African media observatory.
In its current form, it would be harmful to press freedom in Africa and we have urged the EU and the AU to change it.
What is being proposed is a pan-African statutory press council with government involvement. It has no clear legal basis and it is not clear to which of the existing and often restrictive national media legislation in African countries it would refer to. This creates an inherent danger of the pan-African observatory being misused to limit media freedom, rather than to strengthen it.
The key challenges facing the region and which continue to occupy the forum
1. Deteriorating press freedom conditions: frequent raids on media – in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Rwanda.
2. Media law reform in all the countries to ensure access to information, and protection of free speech
3. Training/capacity building
4. Enforcement of professional /ethics and media regulation
5. Intervene in and support to Somalia journalists
Taef congratulated the editors of Nambia for successfully organising and putting into place a system of national media self-regulation through a Press Ombudsman. We wish them well in the formation of their Press Council to work with the Ombudsman.
Taef also congratulated colleagues in Cote d’Ovoire for negotiating the deleting of arrear tax and three others that were hampering the growth of media in the country.
TAEF reiterated its objection to the establishment of the Pan Africa Media Observatory by the African Union and the European Union, and called for the reopening of discussion on the need and nature of such a body.
Special concerns to watch out for in East Africa
– General elections in Rwanda (Sept 2010) and Uganda (June 2011)
– Kenya: the implementation of the national reconciliation /accord, including the Justice Truth and reconciliation process, the special tribunal. These processes may stretch and put the media under the spotlight, accused of fanning chaos and hatred during the last elections
– Impending bill to introduce a statutory media council
|Nov 2009||Minutes of TAEF’s Meeting Held On NOVEMBER 04th 2009, In OUAGADOUGOU, BURKINA FASO
¶In margin of the 3rd edition of the International Festival of the Freedom of Press and Freedom of Expression, the African editors members of TAEF invited to the event held a meeting Wednesday November 4, 2009 at the Conseil Burinabè des Chargeurs. The meeting was ¶chaired by the vice president, Mr. Cheriff SY, assisted of Hameye Cissé and Eberhard Hoffman member of the management committee.¶
¶Thus the assistance was informed that the executive committee of TAEF tackled during this meeting the questions related to the installation of the Forums of editors in the subregions, particularly in Central Africa, Northern Africa, the freedom of the press, the next general assembly of TAEF, as well as the edition of a book of sucess stories in the sector of the media in Africa.¶ He also gave the information according to which the last management committee of TAEF, in accordance with a recommendation that the South African President Jocob Zuma made to TAEF during an audience he offered last July, asking the subregional forums to identify personalities that could commit themselves to the defense of the freedom of press and freedom of expression vis-à-vis of the African Union.¶ Continuing his report, ihe indicated that it was decided that the organization of the next general assembly of TAEF will be addressed durint the meeting of the Forum des Responsables des Médias de l’Afriaue de l’Ouest (FORMAO) which will be held in margin of the FILEP.¶
And discussed problems with forming the Central Region.
|Aug 2010||Mr El Ghassim Wane
Ag. Director Peace and Security
Dear Mr Wane
RE: THE BI-ANNUAL CONFERENCE OF THE AFRICAN EDITORS’ FORUM (TAEF)
The African Editor’s Forum sends its greetings and news of its Bi-Annual Conference, which is being held in Bamako, Mali, from October 14-16.
The conference is being held under the theme “Media and the Challenge of Peace in Africa” and we expect around 200 editors from all regions of the continent.
Following our discussions in July this year, part of the conference will run as a collaboration between that AUC/PSD and Taef.
This day-long interaction between the AU’s Peace and Security Commission and the delegates through panel discussions and breakaways, will interrogate the role of the media in peace making and peace keeping efforts, as well as the experiences of African media personnel in working under conditions of war or absence of peace.
The conference will be a ground breaking exercise in bringing political leaders of the continent and media leaders to discuss each’s role in peace building. A blue print is expected to drawn at the end of the deliberations.
|Oct 14 to 16 Bamako||BGM – Theme: Media and the Challenge of Peace in Africa
Organised in conjunction with the African Union Commission’s Peace and Security Department
Other media associations, freedom of expression and civil society groups invited
TAEF held a two-day conference attended by over 190 senior editors, editorial executives and media trainers from 36 countries.
Awards – Recognising Africa’s Friends of the Media
Recognition of: Former Presidents Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki and John Kufuor; President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf; and former AU Chairperson Alpha Konare
Former journalism leaders: Deyda Hydara, Norbert Zongo, Pius Njawe, Jean Leonard Rugambage, Chief Manneh
AU Commission chairperson Jean Ping – no
President of Mali Amadou Toumani Toure yes
President of Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan no
AU Commissioner for Peace and Security Ramtane Lamamra
Called upon the AU Member States to sign the Table Mountain Declaration and pass laws on access to information
Visit to Timbuktu
|May 2011||AGENDA FOR SAEF MEETING ON 3rd MAY 2011 IN WINDHOEK
Brought in 14 other Taef members to take part, and attend 20th Anniversary celebrations.
To promote quality journalism
To advance media freedom and independence
To develop a network of African editors to tell the African story