As the world celebrates World Press Freedom Day today (May 3, 2013), the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) salutes all journalists, the media, freedom of expression and media rights activists, who have, and continue to champion the course of press freedom.

It also pays tribute to West African journalists who in the course of their duties have been persecuted or even killed.

“Indeed the media continue to play critical roles in peace-building processes in our conflict-prone region and remains an important tool for the promotion of democracy, development and good governance.?The state of Press freedom in the region while commendable has been rather gradual. The MFWA is particularly concerned about West African governments who remain intolerant to press freedom both online and offline and who continue to repress the media.”

As we mark this day under the theme ?Safe to Speak: Securing Freedom of Expression in All Media?, we call on all West African governments to respect and safeguard free expression, both online and offline in their respective countries,?As a media rights and freedom of expression advocacy organisation, the MFWA assures all journalists and the media fraternity that it will continue to intervene and demand redress for all forms of FoE violations.

MFWA ?also called on all journalists and media practitioners to be professional in the discharge of their duties while upholding the ethos of the profession.

“We join the world to call on governments, societies, influential groups and individuals to contribute in promoting and protecting the safety of all journalists. The MFWA believes that democracy, participatory and accountable governance can only thrive under an environment where free speech and free media are guaranteed.”

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