Communique on National Conference on Somali Media Strategy

Minister of Information, Culture & Tourism of the Federal Government of Somalia H.E. Mohamed Abdi Hayir (Mareye), Ministers of Information from Federal Member States of Somalia together with unions and associations of private media and International organizations that support Somali media met at Jazeera Palace Hotel, Mogadishu on 11 and 12 January 2016. The Minister of Information of the Federal Republic of Somalia chaired meetings.

The conference attended by the Deputy Prime Minister of Somalia H.E. Mohamed Omar Arte, the Minister of Information, Culture & Tourism of the Federal Government H.E. Mohamed Abdi Hayir (Mareye), Deputy Minister H.E. Abdullahi Olad Roble, Minister of Information & Telecommunications of Puntland Mohamed Hassan Soocadde, Minister of Information of South-West State Hassan Abdi Mohamed, Minister of Information & Culture Mohamud Aden Osman. Participants also included representatives from Jubballand, Banadir, Hiiraan and Middle Shabelle regions, the Secretary General of NUSOJ Mohamed Ibrahim Pakistan, representatives from Network 13, SIMHA, Somali Women’s Journalists Association, MAP, directors of media outlets, Swedesh Ambassador to Somalia H.E. Mikeal Lindvell, representatives from International organizations such as IMS/FOJO, SMSG, UNSOM, InterNews and others.

The Ministry of Information of the Federal Government organized the conference with collaboration of Ministers from Federal member states and supported by IMS/Fojo and UNESCO with the support of the Ministry of Information, Culture & Tourism of the Federal Republic of Somalia.

The two days conference participants discussed the draft of Somali Media Development Strategy for the next 5 years including the implementation of the Media law and in general the development of Somali media.

After discussions on key issues participants agreed the following points:

1. Participants of the conference thanked the Ministry of Information of the Federal Government’s new initiatives to the development of Somali media and welcomed the role of IMS/FOJO, UNESCO, SMSG and UNSOM for their continual support to the coference. In particular, participants thanked IMS/FOJO for their role on preparing the draft of the strategy and their visit to regions to collect vital information to the draft of the strategy.
2. Participants reviewed and agreed the implementation of the Somali Media Development Strategy for the next 5 years (2016 – 2020).
3. Participants promised to work together in the implementation of the strategy with the support of public, journalists, unions and associations of journalists, and international partners. The Ministry of Information, Culture & Tourism will take the leading role with the support of Federal Member States of Somalia and all stakeholders in the media sector.
4. Participants agreed to work together as partners on key issues including the registration of media outlets in Somalia, issuing licence to all organizaitons and to work together on all new issues emerge in every region. The Ministry of Information of the Federal Government will take the leading role.
5. Participants welcome the new Media Law of the Federal Republic of Somalia and agreed that this is the official media law for the country and that all Federal Member States will review their media laws with a view to ensure that it is in line with the Federal Media Law.
6. Participants to work together in the implementation of the Media Law of the Federal Republic of Somalia, since the Media law will deal with all media complaints, and all discipline matters on individuals and organizaitons that break the law. It was also agreed to conduct a wide public awareness campaing on the implementation of the Media Law. Participants call on International partners to support the implementation of the Media Law.
7. Participants underscored the plight of journalists in Somalia and their circumstances, and appreciated the huge development in Somali media. Participants underscored the commitment of the Federal Republic of Somalia in terms of the free expression as per chapter 18 of the provisional constitution.
8. Participants condemned the killing, the injuring, and all threats against journalists by the terrorists group, illegal detention and called for security apparatus to bring all perpetrators to courts.
9. Participants thanked international partners and all organizations that support Somali Media and call for their continual assistance to the development of Somalia media in particular at this critical time in the country.
10. Participants call international organizaitons that support Somali Media to full register with the Minister of Information of the Federal Republic of Somalia and Ministers from Federal Units of Somalia and to submit the profile of their organization, action plans and their budget towards Somalia.
11. Particpants agreed that all media projects that organizations would like to implement in Somalia to consult with the Ministry of Information of the Federal and Ministries from Federal member States in the areas that they are working on. No organization can implement projects in Somalia without the permission from the Ministry of Information of the Federal Government and Ministries from Federal units of Somalia.
12. Participants agreed the importance of unity between the Federal Government and Federal member States of Somalia on the development of Somali media strategy and public awareness campaigns. As agreed on the previous conference held on 24 and 25th of November 2015 as participants called for the government to establish National Awareness Campaign Centre to produce quality and organized programmes for public awareness campaigns for national interest issues, such as the provisional constitution, Federalism, elections, security, reconciliation and good governance. Therefore, participants agreed to work together on the implementation of public awareness campaigns while the Ministry of Information of the Federal Government will lead the efforts.
13. Finally, participants requested International partners that support Somali Media to convene a donor conference in Nairobi as soon as practically possible with regards to the implementation of the strategy and the media law in order to mobilise the resources necessary to the full implementation of the strategy and the media law. Ministry of Information of the Federal Government and IMS/Fojo to take a leading role on coordination and the implementation of the outcome of this conference as well as organizing the donor conference in Nairobi.
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