Gambia: EU, UNESCO launch initiative to reinforce Gambia's media

Banjul, Gambia (PANA) The European Union (EU) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) on Thursday launched a four-month initiative to reinforce the capacity of Gambian media professionals.

The project is part of a wider governance programme of 10 million euro financed by the EU which includes components such as access to justice and legal education, journalism and the media, and public financial management.  

The overall objective of the journalism and media project is to contribute to better democratic governance through improving freedom of the press and the quality of information available to the population.  

Attila Lajos, EU Ambassador in Gambia, said no other sector had the capacity to reach decision makers and the general public as the media.

“Through the media, the public get to hear directly from people who hold different views from the government that can be difficult at times. But I believe that the better informed we all are about issues affecting our society, the easier it is for the government to come to sensible decision and to develop robust policies that command the confidence of our people,” he said.

According to him, media was also a driver of economic growth, saying investors looked to establish themselves in countries where there was a free media so they could have unhindered access to reliable and credible sources of information, which in turn allowed them to make informed decisions.

“This project promotes excellence in journalism, and innovative curricula, as supporting journalism education in an important part of developing a free and independent media,” Lajos pointed out.

Jean-Pierre Ilboudo, the representative of UNESCO, said as in many countries around the world, media professionals in Gambia often lacked the necessary resources and capacity to exercise carry out their their activities.

He added that difficulty in accessing information and lack of equipment and training were among the daily challenges faced by media professionals.  
-0- PANA MSS/MA 7Oct2016

07 أكتوبر 2016 11:01:03

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