One of Sierra Leone and West Africa’s most outstanding and prolific young voices, 25 years old Editor of Awareness Times Newspaper, Abdul Malik Bangura is invited as one of the fifty (50) high-level media practitioners, representatives of electoral bodies and election experts who will meet over two days at a conference to discuss the ‘Covering of Elections in Africa’.
According to a press release from the organizers, Africa Media Initiatives (AMI) dated 28th June, 2017, the conference would be held at the Desmond Tutu Convention Center in the Kenya capital of Nairobi, between July 3-4, 2017, bringing together 13 countries from both Anglophone and Francophone Africa that are preparing to conduct elections over the next 18 months. The countries participating are: Algeria, Angola, Cameroon, DR Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Senegal and Zimbabwe.
|Editor Abdul Malik Bangura during the AMI Conference on Urbanisation and other related issues in Sub Sahara Africa, held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Against this backdrop, the young Editor Abdul Malik Bangura, was according to the invitation from AMI, “identified as a key stakeholder and we are pleased to send you an invitation to attend the workshop. We believe that your knowledge and expertise will add great value to the deliberations.”
Abdul Malik Bangura, who is amongst the most dedicated journalists in Sierra Leone in reporting elections across the country, especially the recent by elections that were held across Sierra Leone, was shortlisted after rigorous competition. However, because of his outstanding experience in covering the elections, Abdul Malik was chosen to speak on behalf of the media in Sierra Leone, and to give first hand testimony on the relevance of elections in Sierra Leone, and the challenges that are likely to fraught the coming election which is scheduled for March 7th, 2018 in the country.
When contacted about his invitation to the AMI conference, Editor Abdul Malik said, “First of all I want to thank my Mum, Hon Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden for giving me the moral boost to be able to go out in remote parts of Sierra Leone and report in elections. She taught me the ethics in reporting elections which I am very much happy for. Without her, I would not have had this chance to represent my country amongst other Africa countries. Also I thank my Newspaper management and my newsroom colleagues for giving me the helping hands. I promise to make them all proud out there in Nairobi.”
Editor Abdul Malik Bangura is scheduled to depart Sierra Leone tomorrow Saturday 1st July, 2017 and he would be back in a later date.
Meanwhile, see below for press release from AMI
Media Practitioners, Electoral Representatives and Election Experts Converge in Kenya to Discuss Elections
Nairobi, 28 June 2017 - Some 50 high-level media practitioners, representatives of electoral bodies and election experts will meet over two days to discuss the ‘Covering of Elections in Africa’. The workshop will be held on July 3- 4 in Nairobi, bringing together 13 countries from both Anglophone and Francophone Africa that are preparing to conduct elections over the next 18 months.
This workshop is a combined effort of the African Media Initiative (AMI) and the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF). It is also benefiting from the additional support of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA).
Elections have always been an important feature of the democratic and governance structure in Africa and the last two decades have seen a number of countries on the continent organise multi-party polls. One of the key objectives of the workshop is to bring together the media, representatives of electoral bodies and election experts from both Francophone and Anglophone Africa to discuss in a frank, open and interactive manner. The discussion will focus on what can be done to better understand elections and, in the process; help consolidate the quality of reporting.
Speaking about the workshop, Eric Chinje, CEO of AMI, said “the two-day deliberations will offer a unique forum for sharing experiences and expertise, and gaining valuable knowledge from professionals who have been closely involved in the running and coverage of elections.” Chinje hopes that this cross-fertilization of ideas will help towards the development of a body of knowledge that can be shared across the continent.
Tidiane Dioh, Coordinator of the Media Programme at OIF, is convinced that “elections are much more than casting one’s vote”. According to him, “the voter must have access to a whole array of relevant information concerning the electoral process and such a role and responsibility remains the purview of a free, independent and professional media”.
The workshop will be held at the Desmond Tutu Convention Centre in Nairobi, Kenya. Participating countries are Algeria, Angola, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Senegal and Zimbabwe.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.