Some 50 high-level media practitioners, representatives of electoral bodies and election experts will meet in Nairobi next week to discuss elections coverage in Africa.

The two-day conference jointly organized by the African Media Initiative (AMI) and the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) will bring together 13 countries from both Anglophone and Francophone Africa that are preparing to conduct elections over the next 18 months.

AMI said the discussion for the July 3-4 conference will focus on what can be done to better understand elections and, in the process, help consolidate the quality of reporting.

“The two-day deliberations will offer a unique forum for sharing experiences and expertise, and gaining valuable knowledge from professionals who have been closely involved in the running and coverage of elections,” AMI CEO Eric Chinje said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

Elections have always been an important feature of the democratic and governance structure in Africa and the last two decades have seen a number of countries on the continent organize multi-party polls.

Chinje hopes that this cross-fertilization of ideas will help towards the development of a body of knowledge that can be shared across the continent.

OIF Coordinator of the Media Programme Tidiane Dioh said the elections are much more than “casting one’s vote”.

“The voter must have access to a whole array of relevant information concerning the electoral process and such a role and responsibility remains the purview of a free, independent and professional media,” Dioh said.

The conference will bring participants from Algeria, Angola, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Senegal and Zimbabwe. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh