Within the framework of enhancing Press freedom and access to Public information in Cameroon, the international Civil Society Organisation, AFRICAphonie, supported by the British High Commission-Cameroon, recently carried out a project titled “Press Freedom and Policy Advocacy in Cameroon”.
The 2013 Project provided forums (workshops) for journalists to advocate change in certain grey areas of Law No. 90/052 of 19/12/1990 relating to Freedom of Mass Communication in Cameroon as well as Law No. 96/04 of 04/01/1996 supplementing and completing certain provisions thereof, to better expand press freedom, deepen journalistic quality and responsibility, improve the impact of government-media relations and enhance media effectiveness in serving public interest.
The Project also afforded the media practitioners the opportunity to advocate the enactment of a distinct law on access to public information and records in Cameroon, to improve transparency in the management of public affairs, enhance citizen participation in public life and make public officials more accountable.
The deliberations culminated in the production of two relevant draft laws contained in separate A5-size booklets, published by AFRICAphonie in English and French. Both documents will be launched in Mountain Hotel, Buea, South West Region, on 3rd May 2014 as part of the activities marking the celebration of the 2014 World Press Freedom Day jointly organised by the Commonwealth Journalists Association-Cameroon, Cameroon Union of Journalists, Cameroon Association of English Speaking Journalists and Cameroon Anglophone Newspaper Publishers’ Association. They will also be distributed free of charge to media associations nation wide.
According to the Executive Director of AFRICAphonie, Mwalimu George Ngwane, the draft laws will be submitted, subsequently, to the relevant administrative, diplomatic and parliamentary offices in Cameroon for legislation. In this regard, he calls on media practitioners to step up advocacy channels for the legislation of the laws and hopes strongly for collaboration from the powers that be.
Meanwhile, the Management of AFRICAphonie do express their heartfelt gratitude to the media, legal and socio-linguistic experts as well as the British High Commission-Cameroon for their contributions to the success of the above Project.
Done in Buea, this 18th Day of April, 2014
Mwalimu George Ngwane
Executive Director, AFRICAphonie