Regional training on media diversity and cultural pluralism in Eastern Africa

On 15, 18, 22 and 25 November 2021, the UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa in Nairobi, and National Offices in Dar es Salaam and Addis Ababa, in collaboration with the Entity for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, will host a regional training on media diversity and cultural pluralism in four eastern African countries. The workshop will be led by Charles Vallerand, international expert on media diversity, member of the 2005 Convention Expert Facility. It will aim to build capacities of government officers and media professionals from Ethiopia, Mauritius, Uganda and Tanzania both on the 2005 Convention participatory policy reporting and monitoring mechanisms, notably with regards to media diversity, and on the role of the media and media professionals for the implementation of the Convention.

Organised within the framework of the UNESCO/SIDA project Reshaping cultural policies for the promotion of fundamental freedoms and the diversity of cultural expressions, this workshop builds on the quadrennial periodic report (QPR) on the implementation of the 2005 Convention elaborated by the participating partner countries in the framework of this project and submitted in 2020.

The 2005 Convention assigns a central role to freedom of expression, media diversity and diversity of cultural content in the media. Therefore, media professionals and organisations represent key stakeholders not only as fundamental advocates of the Convention but also to ensure the monitoring and reporting on the implementation of this international standard-setting instrument.

As direct beneficiary from this capacity building activity, the objective of the workshop will be to highlight and clarify the role of media professionals to enhance the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expression and to foster further engagement for media regulations in this field. Emergent issues such as diversity of content, media ownership, and editorial independence, notably in light of current contexts, such as Covid-19 crisis, will be addressed. The workshop will therefore provide a space to reflect on guidelines and recommendations for strengthening resilient and sustainable creative and media sectors. Hosted in a hybrid format, the workshop will also provide an opportunity for peer-to-peer exchange and learning and for strengthening professional media networks at the national and regional level.