Cape Town, South Africa – The Pan-African Parliament (PAP) has successfully hosted a three-day media capacity-building workshop for journalists from the Southern African region, held from May 16th to 18th, 2024. This event, organized in collaboration with the African Parliamentary Press Network (APPN), marks the second in a series of media training sessions aimed at enhancing the visibility of the PAP and its activities across the continent.

The workshop, which took place in Cape Town, South Africa, brought together media professionals from various Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries, including South Africa, Malawi, Eswatini, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Lesotho, DR Congo, Mozambique, and Zambia. The initiative aligns with the broader objectives of the Pan-African Parliament, particularly as it celebrates its 20th anniversary.

The primary goal of the workshop was to sensitize journalists to the role and significance of the PAP within the African Union (AU) framework. As the legislative arm of the AU, the PAP relies heavily on the media to communicate its mission and achievements to the public. Recognizing the indispensable role of the press, the workshop aimed to strengthen the relationship between the PAP and media professionals, ensuring accurate and comprehensive reporting on its activities.

Co-facilitated by Gilbert Borketey Boyefio, Programmes Manager for Parliamentary Network Africa (PNAfrica), officials from the PAP, and other resource persons, the training sessions covered a range of essential topics. These included contextual reporting, ethical journalism, improving media relations, effective media engagement strategies, and the role of the media in enhancing the reporting of PAP activities.

Key officials of the Pan-African Parliament, including the President, H.E Chief Fortune Zephania Charumbira, and the Clerk, Ms. Lindiwe Khumalo, graced the opening ceremony of the workshop, underscoring the importance of this initiative. Their presence highlighted the PAP’s commitment to fostering a robust relationship with the media to promote transparency and accountability.

Participants, primarily from the APPN, benefitted from the expert guidance provided by Ms. Janine Lazarus, a renowned media training expert, along with Mr. Jeffrey Onganga from the PAP’s Media and Communications Unit. The training culminated in the development and adoption of a common strategy and implementation plan aimed at enhancing the visibility and reporting of PAP activities.

The APPN, a network of journalists and information officers reporting from African Parliaments and National Assemblies, has played a crucial role in improving the visibility of the PAP. Through initiatives such as PAP media briefings, country delegation press conferences, and weekly radio and TV discussion series, the APPN has brought the PAP closer to African citizens. This workshop sought to build on these successes and expand the network’s influence to the Southern African region.

Looking ahead, the Pan-African Parliament plans to organize the next media training session for journalists from the West African region, to be held in Ghana. This continued effort underscores the PAP’s dedication to ensuring that journalists across the continent are well-informed about its mandate and activities, promoting a more engaged and informed citizenry.

By Clement Akoloh|| APPN Comms

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