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Media Foundation marks a decade of free expression and media freedom

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Page last updated at Sunday, July 31, 2011 17:17 PM //

Prof. Kwame Karikari

The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), an organisation working to promote an effectual media in the region, will on August 9, 2011 celebrate a decade of its work of promoting free expression and press freedom in West Africa.

The twin event, which is aimed at celebrating the gains of freedom of expression/press freedom in West Africa, will take stock of the organisation’s activities and highlight among other things the challenges of promoting free expression and press freedom in the region.

As part of the activities to mark the day, the MFWA will be holding a series of events such as the launch of its anniversary publication, a publication of the record of its work in promoting freedom of expression and press freedom in West Africa.

MFWA will also hold a Strategy Planning Conference on Decriminalisation of Media and Speech Legislation, which will bring together key and influential people in the area of free expression and media freedom from across Africa, to discuss issues relating to freedom of expression and media freedom.

According to a dispatch from Professor Kwame Karikari, Executive Director, MFWA, the conference will seek to develop a strategy for intensifying an Africa-wide campaign on decriminalisation of media and speech legislation.

He said to crown the celebration, the Media Foundation has scheduled an anniversary celebration to mark the 10th year of the repeal of Criminal Libel Law in Ghana.

This will be held on the evening of 9th August under the theme; ‘A celebration of press freedom; marking the 10th anniversary of the repeal of criminal libel law in Ghana’. The communication from MFWA stated; “August 9, 2011, marks 10 years that the government of Ghana, through the repeal of Criminal Libel and Seditious Libel Laws (Amendment) Act. 2001 (Act 602), expunged a number of laws that inhibited the right to free expression and free speech. This bold step by the Ghanaian government has to a large extent improved the media landscape in the country and enhanced citizen’s enjoyment of their freedom of expression. There is therefore the need to take stock of how the repeal has improved Ghana’s democratic atmosphere and culture.”

The strategy planning conference will be held on 9th August at 9:00am at the Sun Lodge Hotel, Accra, while the ceremony to mark the repeal of the criminal libel law in Ghana will come off at 6:00pm at the MovenPick Ambassador Hotel, also in Accra on the same day.

The Media Foundation for West Africa is a regional independent, non-profit, non- governmental organisation that works to defend and promote the rights and freedom of the media and all forms of expression.

By Edmund Smith-Asante

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