Speakers

  • Walid Al-Saqaf

Walid Al-Saqaf had contributed significantly to freedom of expression and access to information during 1999-2005 when he was editor-in-chief of Yemen's largest English-language newspaper Yemen Times. However, he extended his role to the new media when he established yemenportal.net, the first news search engine of its kind in the Arab world. The engine brings hundreds of thousands of news and opinion articles on Yemen from over 1,500 sources to a single interface for easy access. He has also been active in combating government-imposed restrictions on online journalism content mainly be launching the first anti-website censorship initiative of its kind in the Arab world (blocked.arabiaprotal.net).

  • Atmakusumah Astraatmadja

Atmakusumah Astraatmadja, a media observer, has traveled to about 45 cities and towns in Indonesia in the past 35 years to speak in seminars, workshops and trainings on journalism, press freedom and free expression. As a columnist he has written opinion articles for over 20 newspapers and magazines. The ex-chairman of the first independent Press Council in Indonesia was involved in the drafting of the Press Law and the Freedom of Information Law of his country. He is the 2000 Ramon Magsaysay Awardee for Journalism, Literature and Creative Communication.

  • Gabriel Baglo

Gabriel Baglo, 47, worked as journalist at the public television in Togo, and the independent Crocodile Newspaper. From 1997 through 2000, Mr Baglo was Secretary General of the Togo Union of Independent Journalists (UJIT) and member of the Steering Committee of the West African Journalists Association, WAJA. In 2000, Gabriel Baglo was appointed West Africa Coordinator of the IFJ Media for Democracy Programme that was implemented in collaboration with WAJA for the media in West Africa and with the support of the European Commission. In February 2003, Mr Baglo became director of the IFJ Africa Regional Office based in Dakar, Senegal.

  • Fackson Banda

Professor Fackson Banda is the holder of the SAB LTD-UNESCO Chair of Media and Democracy at Rhodes University, South Africa. He has taught at the University of Zambia, apart from practising broadcast journalism at the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC). He introduced the widely read "Media Discourse" column into Zambia’s Post newspaper. His main research interests include political economy of communication, civic education and journalism, media policy and institutions, African political thought and African media, and postcolonial theory. He is a regular contributor to academic and professional journals as well as to book projects.

  • Steve Buckley

Steve Buckley has been President of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) since 2003 and a member of the AMARC International Board since 1992. He is also a member of the International Council of IFEX, the International Freedom of Expression Exchange. Steve is Managing Director of Community Media Solutions, a UK-based media development agency. He has authored numerous reports and policy papers on media and development including, among others, for the UK Department for International Development, UNESCO, the World Bank, the Government of Ghana and the Ford Foundation. Steve was a founder of the UK Community Media Association in 1983 and as its chief executive from 1991 to 2004, he established the organisation as the sector body for community media in the UK.

  • Agnès Callamard

Agnès Callamard took up the post as Executive Director of Article 19 in October 2004. She has evolved a distinguished career in human rights and humanitarian work. She is a former Chef de Cabinet for the Secretary General of Amnesty International, and as the organisation’s Research Policy Coordinator, she led amnesty’s work on women’s human rights. She has written and been published widely in the field of human rights, women’s rights, refugee movements and accountability and holds a PhD in Political Science from the New School for Social Research in New York.

  • Eric Chinje

Eric Chinje is the head of the External Affairs department in the Africa Region of the World Bank and the institution's spokesperson on Africa. He returned to the Bank after four years as head of External Affairs and Communication at the African Development Bank in Tunis. Mr. Chinje studied in the universities of Yaounde (Cameroon), Syracuse (New York) and Harvard (Cambridge, Massachussetts). He has served was Vice Chair of the World Bank/IMF Africa Club, and as Editor in Chief of Cameroon Television, a contributing correspondent for CNN World Report, and a stringer for the BBC, Voice of America, and Deutschewelle Radio. He is an Officer of the Cameroon Order of Merit and an Officer of the Dutch Order of Orange Nassau. Mr. Chinje has written and lectured extensively on Communication and Development in Africa.

  • Davidson Hepburn

During his years as Ambassador of The Bahamas to the United Nations, Davidson Hepburn was an integral part of discussions on the decolonization of several dependent territories. His tenure on the Executive Board of UNESCO as Chairman of the Committee on Conventions and Recommendations afforded him the opportunity to promote Human Rights and Self-determination. Additionally, Mr Hepburn's background in Communications helped him to be an effective mediator in conflict situations.

  • Kaitira Kandjii

Kaitira Kandjii is a 45-year-old Namibian and holds a Masters Degree from the University of Natal, South Africa. He joined MISA 8 years ago after working as journalist and a lecturer of media at the University of Namibia. He further worked for the Government of Namibia as Communications Specialist. He also serves as the secretary to the MISA Trust Fund Board, Regional Council and Executive Committee. Before Mr. Kandjii took up the position as Regional Director, he was the head of Freedom of Expression at the MISA Regional Secretariat in Windhoek, Namibia.

  • Kwame Karikari

Kwame Karikari is the executive director of the Media Foundation for West Africa, a press freedom/freedom of expression advocacy and promotion organisation based in Accra, Ghana. He has been for several years, a professor in journalism and mass communication at the School of Communication Studies at the University of Ghana.He had, prior to that and during all those years, practiced as a journalist, including serving as director general of the public Ghana Broadcasting Corporation in the early 1980s. He has also been a political activist pursuing social justice and human rights causes, including democratic reforms in Ghana. He serves on the boards of a number of African and international rights organisations and academic publications.

  • Ambeyi Ligabo

Ambeyi Ligabo, a Kenyan national, has been the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression since 2002, when he was appointed by the Commission on Human Rights. He has also held key positions in the multilateral sector of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kenya. Before serving his government, he was a renowned freelance journalist and writer in his country. Mr. Ligabo, who also served three years in the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM), holds post-graduate degrees in political sciences and international relations.

  • Raghu Mainali

Raghu Mainali is Executive Director of the Community Radio Support Centre. He served for 8 years as a print journalist before starting his career in the field of radio in 1996 as the program director of Radio Sagarmatha (the first community radio station of South Asia). He served for four years before becoming executive director of the Community Radio Support Centre. The Centre was established under the auspices of the Nepal Forum of Environmental Journalists (NEFEJ) to aid the development of the community radio sector in Nepal. Under Raghu’s leadership, the Centre has been directly responsible for establishing 20 community radio stations in Nepal. He is currently a member of the governmental task force responsible for recommending steps to reform electronic media of Nepal. He also recently served as a member of the High Level Media Commission formed by the Government of Nepal. Raghu has authored two books, co-authored 3 books and edited 5 books on community radio. Until recently he headed the Association of Community Radio Broadcasters of Nepal as its Founding President. He also serves the South Asia Region to develop its community radio sector as the Vice President for South Asia in the AMARC Asia Pacific Board.

  • Sam Mbure

Sam Mbure is a poet, children's book writer and storyteller. He is the founder of Africa Free Media Foundation (AFMF) previously known as Network for Defence of Independent Media in Africa (NDIMA). Among AFMF's main objectives is training for journalists in the Eastern Africa region, promotion and defence of freedom of expression and support for persecuted journalists. AFMF is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya.

  • Jeanette Minnie

Jeanette Minnie is an International Freedom of Expression and Media Consultant, also known by the name of her consultancy service – Zambezi FoX. She is a former Regional Director of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) and former Executive Director of the Freedom of Expression Institute in South Africa (FXI). She is the editor of a book called Outside the Ballot Box about issues of democratisation, elections and human rights published annually by PEPSA - a number of national civic democracy networks across the SADC region. She serves on the Steering Committee of the Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD) and as the coordinator of the Media Freedom and Policy cluster on the Technical Team of the African Media Initiative (AMI). She is a also a consultant for International Media Support in Denmark in respect of their Media Strategy for Zimbabwe, and a consultant to the Media Programme of the Netherlands Institute for Southern Africa (NiZA). She is also working as the Southern African editor of the Open Society AfriMAP Survey into State and Public Broadcasters of 12 countries in Africa.

  • Ana María Miralles

Ana María Miralles has been Director of Citizenship Voices since 1998, a public journalism project that seeks to connect common people to public debate through process of quality information and deliberation and based upon the right of freedom access to information. Professor Miralles teaches Public Opinion at Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana in Medellín, Colombia (South America) and is leading auditor of ISAS BC 9001 (ISO 9000) about Quality in audiovisual media which main objective is to reinforce the idea of public service. Miralles is consulting professional on Civic Journalism.

  • David Nyamwaya

David Nyamwaya Holds a doctoral degree in medical anthropology from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. He is currently Regional Adviser, Health promotion, World Health Organisation Office for Africa, Brazzaville. Before joining WHO/AFRO, he was director of Health Behaviour and Education Department of the African Medical and Research Foundation, Nairobi, 1986-99. He has worked in communication for health development with UNICEF and the World Bank. He has taught health promotion at various universities in Africa and coordinated a course on International Health at the Kaloniska Institute, Sweden. He has undertaken numerous research projects in health, communication and development and published on a wide range of subjects, including three editorials for Health Promotion International. He is a member of the IUHPE for which he served as a member of the Board of Trustees since 199-2005.

  • Edetaen Ojo

Edetaen Ojo is Executive Director of Media Rights Agenda, an NGO based in Lagos, Nigeria. Mr. Ojo has worked on Freedom of Information issues in Nigeria and regionally over the last 12 years and is Coordinator of the Nigerian Freedom of Information Coalition as well as Director of the Africa Freedom of Information Centre (AFIC). He is Vice Chair of the Board of the Media Foundation for West Africa, a regional non-governmental organization based in Accra, Ghana, which works in the defence of media freedom in West Africa and is also a member of the Steering Committee of the Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD).

  • Faith Pansy Dikeledi Tlakula

Adv. Faith Pansy Dikeledi Tlakula was appointed as a member of the African Commission for Human and People’s Rights at the meeting of the AU Heads of States which was held in Libya in July 2005. Her portfolio in the Commission is Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa. She is also responsible for Swaziland, Namibia, The Gambia and Zambia. Adv. Tlakula is a member of the Board of the South African Broadcasting Cooperation. Her full time job is currently the Chief Electoral Officer of Electoral Commission of South Africa.

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