Media Freedom and Development
The UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which expire in 2015, have contributed to the improvement of livelihoods of countless human beings all over the world. At the current stage of the international debate on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, headed by the United Nations, there is a clear understanding that openness, transparency, freedom of speech and the media and access to information need to form an essential part of successful future development initiatives.
As the secretariat to the African Platform on Access to information (APAI) Declaration and the continental APAI campaign, MISA promotes the importance of access to information to the post 2015 development agenda and, where possible, analyses how access to information, freedom of expression and media freedom can be integrated in the new global objectives.
The APAI Declaration clearly articulates a number of principles that speak to the central role that access to information plays in furthering a number of rights including gender equality, health and education, which are all crucial to development.
MISA Zambia has made a submission to the Zambia Law Development Commission, the Minister of Justice and the Minister of information on Penal code provisions that are inimical to the enjoyment of media freedom.
MISA Zambia Chairperson, Hellen Mwale, stated that MISA Zambia was hopeful that the commission would consider the submission and give it the priority and seriousness it deserves.
Mwale has urged media houses in the country to follow the submission made to the commission and continue asking the relevant questions until the institutions tasked to look at the amendment of the Penal Code do so.
She further added that there was need to take advantage of this window of opportunity by mounting a strong advocacy campaign that would pressure government to yield to the demands of the people as they were the main beneficiaries of the document.