30 journalists selected across various media in West Africa are being taken through an intensive training class for two days to broaden their knowledge on the role of the media in the promotion of peaceful elections in West Africa.
The training workshop, organised by the United Nations Office for West Africa Dakar in partnership with the High Commissioner for Human-Bureau West Africa Rights (OHCHR-BAO), UNESCO Regional Office in Dakar, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), and the International Organisation of the Francophonie (OIF), is taking place in the Senegalese capital, Dakar. It is entitled, “The Role of Media in the Promotion and Conduct of Peaceful Electoral Processes in West Africa.”
The thirty journalists are drawn from 15 countries of West Africa which include Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal Sierra Leone and Togo . All 15 journalists are participating in the discussions.
Several countries in the region will hold elections within the next two years. This election cycle, which is necessary for the strengthening of democratic institutions and good governance, could present risks of violence and political and social instability. In this context, the role of media in the preservation of stability and peace is crucial.
The Dakar workshop will process international and regional electoral instruments, the legal framework governing elections in West Africa, and the journalistic practice during elections, taking into account ethical and deontological aspects. It will also serve as a platform where media executives will engaged in media coverage of electoral processes, participate, indeed, within legal and regulatory limits, in electoral observation, paying particular attention to the transparency, credibility and reliability of the poll.