The Federation of African Journalists (FAJ), the Africa regional association of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), has elected nine union representatives from all regions of the continent to serve on the Steering Committee.
According to a dispatch, the election was held at the Union’s Fourth Congress in Abuja, Nigeria from 29- 30 April, under the theme: “The Political Change and the Safety of Working Journalists in Africa.”
The Congress brought together 34 delegates from 22 journalist unions and associations across the continent, including the Press Union of Liberia, to deliberate on issues affecting journalists and the media in Africa.
The Congress was also geared towards taking stock of the Federation’s achievements and challenges over the past three years; as well as to elect a new leadership that will run the affairs of the Federation for the next three years.
Those elected are Abdulwaheed Odusile of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), President; Maria Luisa Rogerio Carvalho of Sindicato dos Journalistas Angolanos (SJA), Vice President; Zeid Debbon of the Syndicat National des Journalists Tunisiens (SNJT), Stephen Ouma Bwire of the Uganda Journalists Union (UJU), Foster Dongozi of the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) and Ibrahima Ndiaye of the Syndicat des Professionnels de l’Information de la Communication – Senegal (SYNPICS).
Other elected members include Denis Nkwebo of the Syndicat Nationale des Journalistes du Cameroon (SNJC), Alexander Niyungeko of the Union Burundaise des Journalistes (UBJ) and Moussa Traore of the Union Nationale des Journalistes de Cote d’ Ivoire (UNJCI).
At the same time, the Union has also elected three reserve representatives for the Steering Committee: Eduardo Constantino of the Sindicato Nacional de Jornalistas of Mozambique, Abdullai Kamara of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) and Franck Kpochere of the Union des Professionnels des medias du Benin (UPMB).
Delegates at the Congress also unanimously elected five female journalist leaders into the Pan-African Gender Council.
Those elected are Angela Chishimaba of the Zambia Union of Journalists (ZUJ), Marion Obam Vivivan of SNJC; Particia Ajdisseku of the Union des Journalists Independents du Togo (UJIT), Aisha Ahmed Youssouf of the Association des Journalistes Djiboutiens (AJD) and Fatimah Abdulkareem of the NUJ.
In relation to its programs for the next three years, FAJ outlined the Safety of Journalists and the campaign against impunity as a top priority, while also focusing its attention on gender equality in the media and unions, freedom of information, online safety and the decriminalization of libel.