It is aware that the profession of journalism is one of the promising professions, pledges of a better future and that it is necessary to facilitate to all journalists a free court to exercise their profession that the Network of Women Leaders for Development organized on Thursday, June 09, 2022 a dialogue that brought together media professionals and bloggers of Benin. Organized as part of the celebration of International Press Freedom Day, the event initiated at the bird song in Cotonou was held under the torch of a new dynamism towards the future.
A series of intellectual, methodological and systemic activities in order to find more or less accurate recommendations to a fact-problem, to an object of concern that constitute nowadays the issues of freedom of the press. These are substances, the main facts that marked the dialogue between media professionals organized last Thursday by the Network of Women Leaders for Development and its partner CIVICUS. Like a powerful engine of development, the RFLD thanks to its partner CIVICUS has brought together several media professionals around the theme "journalism under digital siege". In its 29th edition, the celebration of this day by CIVICUS and RFLD comes to answer the concern to work for a better management of press freedom in Benin.
For Gloria Dossi Agueh, president of the RFLD at the opening ceremony, this initiative puts a "special emphasis on raising awareness of respect for press freedom and greater protection for journalists.
Moreover, aware that "freedom is life and not to have it is death", she "invited the participants not to take lightly this high level dialogue because from it will come appropriate proposals for a more free and conscious press".
Before the activities were launched, Zakiath Latoundji, of the Union of Media Professionals of Benin, Joel Noumonvi of the Association of Bloggers of Benin and Heulèche Tognonmegni, RFLD's advisor for legal affairs, wished that this dialogue would not be just another one, but a real meeting whose recommendations would advocate a new dynamism. Thus, the president of the RFLD will officially launch the work. Three papers focusing respectively on raising awareness on the respect of press freedom, greater protection and respect for journalists and the vital contribution they make to democratic societies, guidelines of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR) and how to protect its data online have furnished the activity. According to Zakiath Latoundji of the UPMB, in order to reach the rank of the so-called democratic model countries in terms of press freedom, one of the major steps is to raise awareness of the respect of press freedom.
For the occasion, the expert in law and Head of the Youth, Recreation and Sports Department of the Porto Novo City Council, Heulèche Tognonmegni, presented the innovative theme of his paper "ACHPR Guidelines on Freedom of Association and Assembly in Africa". The said theme is summarized in an imbibition of young people or other people in the manuals of the ACHPR which confer indelible rights to professionals. During his communication, he stressed the importance of popularizing these rights in order to improve the conditions of exercise of journalism and to promote a real development. In order to participate in development through an active and collective contribution to the improvement of press freedom in Benin, group work has been instituted.
In this second important moment of the day, the participants identified problems, reflected together for proposals intended to paint a good picture of press freedom in Benin. The results of the work were then presented to the plenary by group leaders. According to the group rapporteurs, the values for measuring progress in a country in the field of the press are the quality of the freedom enjoyed by professionals and equity. Even though the authorities are still in a state of indeterminacy with important but often partially resolved issues, they thought that it is not insignificant to be interested in Benin's efforts to concretize its visions of development and to be able to count itself among the democratic nations and technically up to date in terms of respect for the rights of media actors.
Finally, in view of the interest in the future, the respect of the freedom of the press becomes a necessity and is essential to all. To this end, the Network of Women Leaders for Development and its partner CIVICUS do not intend to stop there. They are already planning to organize another dialogue next month.