Africa

2010

Alerts   |   Burundi

In Burundi, 2nd editor arrested in less than a month

New York, August 11, 2010--Burundian police on Tuesday arrested Thierry Ndayishimiye, chief editor of the private weekly Arc-en-Ciel, on defamation charges related to a story about alleged government corruption. Ndayishimiye is the second Burundian editor to be jailed in less than a month.

August 11, 2010 4:57 PM ET

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Blog   |   Swaziland

In Swaziland, local press subdues royal sex scandal coverage

Local papers shied away from explaining the nature of the scandal around the minister.

An alleged sex scandal involving one of the wives of Africa's last absolute monarch, King Mswati III of Swaziland, has made worldwide headlines. Yet, in the southern African mountain kingdom, media coverage has been subdued, shying away from questioning the silence of the monarchy over the reports.

So, while City Press, a newspaper in neighboring South Africa, went as far as publishing an exclusive photo showing the alleged moment when married Swazi Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Ndumiso Mamba was caught in a hotel room with the Inkhosikati LaDube, King Mswati's 12th wife, both the government daily and leading independent newspaper Times of Swaziland barely reported that the minister was forced to resign following unspecified "allegations" about him. 

August 11, 2010 4:00 PM ET

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Blog   |   Gabon

Gabon's press blossoms, faces financial challenges

I will never forget that morning of August 17, 1960, in Port-Gentil when I was awakened with a jolt by the screams: "Long live independence, long live freedom!" Yet Gabon would not see the emergence of an independent and pluralistic press until the democratization process of 1990. 

August 10, 2010 2:14 PM ET

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Blog   |   Rwanda

In Rwanda election, no critical domestic press

Kagame at a rally in Nyagatare. (AP/Margaret Cappa)

"No one but you!" supporters of President Paul Kagame have shouted at recent election rallies with many waving the red, white, and blue flags that symbolize the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front party, according to local and international reports. But journalists critical of the ruling party could not document firsthand the campaign that ended today because the government systematically shut their news outlets and swept them out of the country in a campaign of intimidation. 

August 9, 2010 4:17 PM ET

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Blog   |   Mali

Mali's press: The paradox of its two faces

In terms of freedom of expression and democratic and media pluralism, Mali is undeniably today one of the leading countries in francophone Africa. In this year marking the 50th anniversary of Mali's independence, the country's media pool includes 300 private FM radio stations, and about 50 newspapers and periodicals. This incredible blossoming of the Malian press is due to the ease of launching newspapers, the freedom of expression they enjoy, and the liberalization of the airwaves.
August 9, 2010 12:37 PM ET

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Blog   |   Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Republic of Congo, USA

Obama tells Africa forum 'no reason' for press restriction

Obama's Young African Leaders Forum in Washington touched on press freedom. (America.gov)
One out of 10 delegates participating this week in U.S. President Barack Obama's Young African Leaders Forum was a journalist. The forum, a U.S. initiative meant to spark discussions on the future of Africa in a year when 17 countries on the continent are celebrating 50 years of nationhood, did not overlook freedom of the press, as I witnessed in its final event on Thursday at Washington's museum of news, the Newseum.
August 6, 2010 4:22 PM ET

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Blog   |   Eritrea, Sweden

Eritrean official says jailed journalists were security threat

Senior Eritrean Advisor Yemani Gebreab told Swedish daily Aftonbladet that the government had decided to “move forward,” leaving imprisoned journalists in the eternal oblivion of indefinite detention.
Since a week after September 11, 2001, when the government of Eritrea threw into secret prisons journalists from its once-vibrant private press, the only certainty it has offered about the fate of the prisoners has been ambiguity. Over the years, officials have offered various explanations for the arrests—from nebulous anti-state conspiracies involving foreign intelligence to press law violations. They have even denied that the journalists themselves ever existed. From the Eritrean president to the public relations officer with the Eritrean Ministry of Information, Eritrean officials have been consistent in their refusal to disclose whether the journalists are alive or dead and their suggestion that the journalists will be held indefinitely without formal charge or trial.
August 6, 2010 12:31 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Uganda

Ugandan online editor accused of sedition

Nairobi, August 4, 2010—Police accused the online editor of The Ugandan Record, Timothy Kalyegira, of sedition Tuesday and searched his house today, Kalyegira told the Committee to Protect Journalists. The Media Offences Department commissioner of police, Simon Kuteesa, interrogated Kalyegira about two online articles that speculated as to whether the Ugandan government were involved in the July 11 bomb attacks in Kampala.
August 4, 2010 4:45 PM ET

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Blog   |   Senegal

Senegalese press growing against all odds

The author interviewing Danny Glover in the 1970s. (Courtesy Djib Diedhiou)Fifty years after independence, the profession of journalism seems to have retained its prestige with the general public in Senegal. The Senegalese press is considered one of the most vibrant in Francophone Africa. It benefits from the country’s extensive democratic experience and the existence of a journalism school with a good reputation. Yet, because of the relatively unfavorable economic environment and many vicissitudes, its rise comes close to being a daily miracle.
August 4, 2010 12:45 PM ET

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Blog   |   Chad

Chad’s vibrant press shook off chains of the state

The author (Courtesy Kaya-Whorr)

When Chad proclaimed independence on August 11, 1960, I was still attending primary school and had never heard of journalism. I listened only to music on the radio. But there was euphoria everywhere in Sarh, south of Chad where I lived, and we sang and danced to the frenzied rhythm of “independence tcha tcha tcha” by Congolese musician Joseph Kabassélé, aka Kallé. 

August 2, 2010 11:19 AM ET

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2010

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