A few month after our world congress last May, the IFJ was back again in the region, this time on the other side of the Mare Nostrum in Tangiers, bringing together its African leadership. I attended the first meeting of the new steering committee of the Federation of African Journalists since its congress last April in Harare, hosted by its Moroccan affiliate, the Syndicat national de la presse marocaine.
The seven-person FAJ Steering Committee meets twice a year and transacts all issues of relevance to our 38 African affiliates. Their agenda in Tangiers dealt with their working programme for the next three years as well as their projects, communications and their cooperation with other bodies including the Africa ITUC and the African Union. Among the most important initiatives were the lobbying effort to get the AU assembly to adopt a resolution on the safety of journalists, similar to the UN resolution 1738, and a momentous decision to launch their own website. Other urgent issues included the worsening safety situation for journalists in Somalia and Uganda, and the refusal by the Israeli authorities to allow IFJ Senior Vice-President Younes M’Jahed to enter the Palestinian Occupied Territories as member of an IFJ mission to the region.