As an outcome of the Finance Ministers’ meeting in March this year, AFRODAD, Oxfam Pan-Africa and ActionAid partnered to host the first ever pan African media conference on debt and development that took place in 7 countries from 9th to 11th June 2021. It brought together 408 participants from Angola 63 (41 Physically present); Kenya 145 (56 Physical participation); Cameroon 50 (20 in Physical attendance); Zambia 59 (20 in physical attendance); Uganda 51 (35 in physical attendance); Chad 20 and Burundi 20.
This Pan African media conference organised by AFRODAD in collaboration with regional and national partners will aim at:
- Contributing to journalists’ existing knowledge and understanding of debt management and related issues and to increase media participation in the campaign for prudent debt management in Africa.
- Exchanging innovative and effective techniques for monitoring and reporting on public debt and related issues in Africa, that will help journalists captivate their audience and influence it towards action.
- Building a network of journalists who can adequately report on debt management and related issues and promoting collaboration on investigative journalism on issues of public debt at the national, regional and continental levels.
Journalists highly appreciated the conference because:
- They gained new knowledge and improved understanding on issues of debt and development;
- They were sensitised to increasingly prioritise issues on debt and sustainable development thus adequately reporting on them on a regular basis.
- Journalists, as the 4th estate were empowered to boldly hold their governments to account to act responsibly when borrowing and spending.
- They were also equipped to clearly and creatively link the public debt situation to citizens lives and rights.
- They got to share experiences with journalists from other countries and for many, it was their first time to have such an experience.
- They committed to prioritise the subject of debt.This includes educating people, holding the leaders to account, truly being peoples' voice especially the marginalised, and monitoring progress on debt issues.
- They requested for extended training on debt and development to allow a larger pool of knowledgeable and capable journalists to boldly report on the debt issues. They asked that editors should be sensitisised separately because they often hinder reporting on certain issues, public debt and linked irresponsibility being one of them.
- They asked for a media debt network that would allow collaboration between journalists from the continent.