EAJA Elects New Executive Committee

 

The Federation of African Journalists (FAJ), the Africa Group of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in its efforts to resolve the crisis that had engulfed the Eastern African Journalists Association (EAJA) for the past year, held a two – day Extraordinary General Meeting for the Regional Association, in Nairobi, Kenya from 30 – 31 July, 2015.  The Extraordinary Congress brought together union and association representatives from 10 Eastern African countries, namely: Burundi, Djibouti, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Comoros, Seychelles, Kenya and Somalia.

Speaking to the delegates at the Extraordinary General Meeting, FAJ Interim President, Maria Luisa Carvalho Rogerio, who also chairs the FAJ Interim Committee on EAJA said that FAJ has been very much concerned about the crisis that has gripped EAJA, and in that regard, had left no stone unturned in its quest to ensure that EAJA is back on its feet   to take up its responsibilities in relation to the challenges confronting journalists and the unions in the region.

“It is expedient therefore, ” she said, “that FAJ as the continental body of journalists works with all EAJA affiliates in the region, in order to bring back sanity and decorum in the regional association”. The FAJ Interim President said that she and her committee had consulted all the EAJA affiliates prior to the Nairobi meeting and had received very positive responses from all of them with the exception of two affiliates.

She expressed that the need to put EAJA on track was a collective responsibility that no journalist in the region or the continent at large could shun.  “As journalists and trade unionists we are bound by moral obligation to put the interests of our members first before any form of self interest”.  As journalists’ leaders and trade unionists, we are called upon by a sense of moral duty to serve our unions in the most dignified and respectful manner based on the principles of comradeship sacrifice, solidarity and the respect for the dignity and integrity of the workers that we represent”.

Based on these noble principles, FAJ had deemed it imperative to do everything in its power to ensure that normaley comes back to the region for the best interest of journalists and the protection and promotion of the freedom of expression and of the press.  She therefore called on the delegates to put aside their differences and to vote based on the principles of democracy in order to ensure that they bring in the best possible team that can guide the affairs of the association for the next three years.

During the Congress, , the following were elected:  Anteneh Abraham Babanto, President of EAJA, Eric Oduor,  First Vice President and Aisha Yossouf as Second vice-President,

Also elected were: Alexandre Niyunengeko, as Secretary General, Saphia Ngalapi as Treasurer, Stephen Ouma Bwire and Maureen Mudi  as first and second Advisers respectively.

 

The new executive committee thanked FAJ for taking up the responsibility to resolve the crisis in EAJA and promised that they will live up to the expectations in defending the rights and interests of the unions in the region. They thanked the immediate past FAJ President, Mohammed Garba, for his tremendous efforts in bringing all parties involved in the crisis together and wished him well in his new position as Commissioner for Information in the Government of Kano in Nigeria.

They also thanked the IFJ Africa office and FAJ Secretariat for helping in organizing the meeting as well as the partners, notably the Norwegian Journalists Union, the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung – Kenya Office, the Canadian High Commission to Kenya, UNESCO and the Ethical Journalists Network for providing the support for the two days meeting.

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For more information, please contact FAJ Secretariat: +221 33 867 95 86/87

The FAJ represents more than 50,000 journalists in 40 countries in Africa