The Executive Committee of the Journalists Association of Jubbaland (JAJ) today held a briefing with the Minister of Information and Public Awareness of Jubaland, Mr. Suleiman Mohamed Mohamud, in order to advance the Association’s priorities. In addition to discussing the development of media independence and access to information, the draft Media Law consultations were accelerated.
JAJ Executive Committee members were received by the Minister in his office for an in-depth discussion of the Union elections of October last year. In addition to briefing the Minister on their progress, union officials also discussed how the government could support the Jubbaland media development efforts and preserve its independence.
The Minister responded to a request made by JAJ officials for the protection of the rights and freedoms of journalists at the conference by pledging his full support to the Journalists Association of Jubbaland and will ensure that all government institutions support the organization’s important work. Regardless of the abuse of the media, he reaffirmed that the Jubaland government would respect and protect journalists’ independence.
Furthermore, the minister discussed the importance of the government in developing a media law and provided a briefing to the JAJ Executive Committee about the draft media law. He noted that the government would work hard to provide the media with guidance or legislation to manage their activities as well as make the law available to them.
At the meeting, the JAJ Executive Committee members appreciated the Minister’s briefing on the draft media law and stressed the need for a broad and inclusive stakeholder engagement in the drafting of the media law in order to reach a consensus on how to implement it. As well, they commended the Minister for his role in the development of the Media Law and for his efforts to provide a governing framework for media activities in Jubbaland that will contribute to the growth of democracy and state-building in the country.
At the end of the meeting, it was agreed that the Ministry of Information and the Journalists Association of Jubbaland (JAJ) should work together to promote inclusive consultation with the participation of all stakeholders in the draft media law, such as the Parliamentary Media Committee, Civil Society, Legal Experts, Owners and Directors of the Media Outlets, Union Officials and, the Ministry of Information.