Somalia: JAJ and Jubaland's Information Minister discuss speeding up consultations on the draft media law

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KISMAYO, Somalia - The Executive Committee of the Journalists Association of Jubaland (JAJ) met today with Jubaland's Minister of Information and Public Awareness, Mr. Suleiman Mohamed Mohamud, to discuss the Association's priorities.

The draft Media Law consultations dominated the session, in addition to discussions about the progression of media independence and access to information.

The Minister received JAJ Executive Committee members in his office for an in-depth discussion of the Union elections held in October of last year.

In addition to updating the Minister on their progress, union officials discussed how the government could help Jubaland's media development efforts while maintaining its independence.

The Minister pledged his full support to the Journalists Association of Jubaland and will ensure that all government institutions support the organization's important work in response to a request made by JAJ officials at the conference for the protection of journalists' rights and freedoms. Regardless of media abuse, he reaffirmed that the Jubaland government would respect and safeguard journalists' independence.

Furthermore, the minister discussed the importance of the government developing a media law and provided a briefing on the draft media law to the JAJ Executive Committee.

He stated that the government would work hard to provide guidance or legislation to the media in order to manage their activities, as well as make the law available to them.

The JAJ Executive Committee members appreciated the Minister's briefing on the draft media law and emphasized the importance of broad and inclusive stakeholder engagement in the media law's drafting in order to reach a consensus on how to implement it.

They also congratulated the Minister on his role in the development of the Media Law and his efforts to provide a governing framework for media activities in Jubaland that will contribute to the country's growth of democracy and state-building.

At the meeting's conclusion, it was agreed that the Ministry of Information and the Journalists Association of Jubaland (JAJ) should collaborate to promote inclusive consultation with the participation of all stakeholders in the draft media law, including the Parliamentary Media Committee, Civil Society, Legal Experts, Media Owners and Directors, Union Officials, and the Ministry of Information.

PRESS RELEASE

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