6TH TAEF General Assembly held in Chad


by Ousman Sillah Editors from around the African continent converged in the Chadian capital, Ndjamena, for the 6th General Assembly meeting of The African Editors’ Forum (TAEF) from the 2 – 5 February, 2015.The theme of this biennial meeting was “Media and Crises in Africa: Epidemics and Insecurity. As part of the meeting, the four days convergence also witnessed the election of a new executive council for the organisation following the election of its former President, Cherif Moumine Sy, to serve as the President of the new transitional National Assembly (Parliament) of Burkina Faso which is tasked to build the foundation of a solid democratic dispensation after the popular revolution that ousted Blaise Compaore. Formally opening the 4 days event was Mr. Kalzeubet Pahimi Deubet, the Prime Minister of Chad, who represented the President of the republic, Idriss Deby Itno. In his opening statement, noted that the choice of Ndjamena to host this continental media gathering is right as Chad recognises the importance of the role of the media in Africa’s development. He said Chad has now decriminalised speech in statutes or laws. He called on the African media to interrogate the causes of insecurity and share the results with the African public. Delivering the keynote address earlier, Mr. Hassan Sylla, the Chadian Minister of Information and Spokesperson of the Government, acknowledges the importance of a free press to play an effective watchdog role in society. The Chairperson of the Local Organising Committee and President of the Central African Editors’ Forum, Mr. Michael Didama, and the Secretary General of TAEF, Emrakeb Assefa, both welcomed the participants and spoke on the work and challenges facing the media in Africa. A range of pertinent topics were discussed in three panel sessions which touched on “Security and Health Challenges in Africa and the Role of the Media in Addressing Critical Issues”, Media and Health Crises in Africa” and “Insecurities in the African Media Environment”. The meeting also discussed the Ebola outbreak in some African countries and the Boko Haram threat in the areas bordering North Eastern Nigeria and North Western Cameroun and of which Chad has sent troops to fight them. The new TAEF leadership comprises Mr. Jovial Rantao (South Africa) as President, Mr. Maurice Chabi (Benin) as Vice President, Madam Emrakeb Assefa (Ethiopia) as Secretary General, Mr. Mondli Makhanya (South Africa) as Treasurer, Mr. Francois Xavier Luc Deutchoua (Cameroun) responsible for Training and Projects and Mr. Zied El-Heni (Algeria) responsible for Media Freedom. The next TAEF general Meeting will be hosted by South Africa in 2016. Under the auspices of the Chadian Government, the participants were invited to a welcoming reception and a gala night of cultural performances as well as a visit to the game reserve of Zakouma in the South Eastern Chad, which is situated at 900 kilometres from Ndlamena. ]]>