President Barrow thumbs up Article 19 support to reform Gambia’s media laws

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By Sanna Camara

The President of the Republic, His Excellency, Mr. Adama Barrow has expressed appreciation to the support rendered by the international free expression agency, Article 19, in reforming draconian media laws that were inherited by his government. Article 19 regional director for West and Central Africa, Mrs. Fatou Jagne-Senghore paid a courtesy call on President Barrow at the State House on Friday, coinciding with the World Press Freedom Day 2019.The President assured the international human rights and free expression advocate of his commitment to nurturing the right environment for freedom and democracy in The Gambia. He noted that this will ensure the achievements registered in the global press and other freedoms ranking for the country will be maintained and further improved.“My direction is to work towards democracy and rule of law. This is my promise to the electorates and our partners,” the President said.For Mrs. Jagne-Senghore, the Gambia’s transition is important to the work of her organisation. The group had provided 18months’ technical support to the government through the Ministry of Information and Communications Infrastructure to review all media laws.The programme has set into motion a sustained process of reform that will create the right environment for freedom of expression in The Gambia. The review process is complete and the Cabinet has considered and approved the reform of these laws to bring them to international standards.Pertinent to these reform is the Freedom of Information and the Access to Information legislations which the country urgently needs in order to enhance transparency of government and society at large.

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