IFJ Commends Successful Conclusion of EAJA General Meeting
Posted by African Press International on June 2, 2013
- By Dickens Wasonga.
The General Meeting is EAJA’s supreme decision-making body. It was attended by 21 delegates from 10 unions and associations from Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. They have mandated EAJA to carry out a strategic plan during the next five years. This commits EAJA to strategically promote and defend media freedom and trade union rights.
Delegates were also able during the meeting to vote for progressive constitutional amendments to enhance EAJA’s governance. The Meeting elected an Executive Committee and Internal Audit Committee.
Dr Muheldin Ahmed Idriss from Sudanese Journalists Union was elected as President; Alexandre Niyungeko from Union of Burundian Journalists (UBJ) was elected as first Vice President, Anteneh Abraham Babanto from Ethiopia National Journalists Union (ENJU) was elected as second Vice President, Omar Faruk Osman from the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) was re-elected as Secretary-General, Jane Uwimana of Rwanda Journalists Association (RJA) was elected as new Treasurer while Maureen Mudi from Kenya Correspondents Association (KCA) and Kenedid Ibrahim Hussein from Association of Djibouti Journalists (ADJ) were elected as Executive Committee members.
“We especially congratulate the elected leaders of EAJA. Delegates showed maturity in democracy. We look forward to working closely with them and maintaining a productive relationship with EAJA leaders,” added Baglo.
The General Meeting for the first time elected a five-member Regional Gender Committee (RGC) to foster gender equality in EAJA affiliated organizations and the media in the region.
The delegates unanimously approved the organization’s last three years’ activities report. The meeting set the agenda for the next three years and passed resolutions on state of press freedom and trade union rights in the region particularly in Eritrea, Ethiopia, Burundi, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda. It also approved financial report presented by the outgoing Treasurer of EAJA Gaspard Safari.
In his closing address the re-elected EAJA Secretary General Omar Faruk Osman thanked the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) for its help in organizing the General Meeting and Strategy Conference. “This has been the biggest, most effective and representative General Meeting in EAJA’s history. The ten organizations represented here want EAJA to be an even more action-oriented organization,” said Omar Faruk Osman.
“In this General Meeting we have taken decisions on championing media freedom, on building strong organizations and on fighting for trade union rights that will strengthen journalists and other media workers everywhere in the region,” he added.
The president of EAJA Dr Mudeldin Ahmed Idriss thanked delegates for the renewed confidence and support. “We must now intensify our efforts to build strong organisations both at regional and national levels. At the end of this period, we must be able to report back to the next General Meeting about what we have done, not on why we didn’t do it. EAJA must invest a lot more into that struggle and members must play necessary role”.
Jane Uwimana, Secretary General of Rwanda Journalists Association (RJA), becomes first woman Treasurer. She vowed to build strong financial base and appealed members to pay their dues and other financial contributions timely.
The General Meeting unanimously voted for the re-admission of Kenya Union of Journalists (KUJ) and approved admission of Uganda Media Union (UMU) into membership, raising the number of EAJA member organizations to eleven.
The Vice President of the IFJ Gustavo Granero and Africa Director of the IFJ Gabriel Baglo attended the General Meeting and extended solidarity to EAJA and its member organisations, while renewing IFJ’s support to EAJA and affiliated organizations.
Representatives from International Trade Union Confederation – Africa regional organization (ITUC Africa), Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA) and Union of Central Africa Press (USYPAC in French) attended the meeting to extend fraternal greetings and solidarity to EAJA and its member organizations.