AU Watch

Media Education

A free an independent media is central to any democratic system. Promoting them is AU Watch’s mission and responsibility. By providing educational materials and training, wecontribute to ensuring that the media perform their role in the development and stabilization of democracy in Africa.

• Are you a journalist or use the media in your day-to-day-work? Well we want to reach out to you. We use the power of media and communication to help individuals and communities understand what the AU and AU Member States are doing and supporting them in understanding and claiming their rights. Our goal is to inform and empower you by providing you with current information on just about everything you should know about the AU and its Members. In other words, it’s about raising awareness and educating all of us about the AU, its institutions and its programs.

• The Centre collaborates with AU Watch media unit, contributing to AU Watch News; AU Watch Online radio; AU Watch TV; AU Watch Podcast; the Journal of African Studies on the African Union; the State of the Union: Human Rights; the State of the Union: Development; AU Watch Regional Corruption Index magazine; AU Watch Regional Insecurity Index magazine and other media materials.

• In collaboration with our IT and Media Directorates, we provide live streaming and live broadcast for all AU human rights meetings and events.

• We are developing an AU Watch App that can be downloaded or uploaded into phones and computers. The App will give information, news, analysis and announcements about everything about the AU. Where media freedom and freedom of speech are under threat, we:

“All roads lead to Banjul, The Gambia” is a common idiom meaning that there are many ways of getting to your goal. Just as all roads lead to Rome, so there are many different ways to delivering HRE. Thus, human rights education is perhaps best described in terms of what it sets out to achieve: the establishment of a culture where human rights are understood, defended and respected.

 

  • We work with the AU, AU Member States, professional and citizen journalists to understand what the African Charter and other AU Soft Laws are, like the Resolution on the Adoption of the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression in Africa, says about media freedom.
  • Work with the in-country journalists and their professional union to raise awareness of issues at the AU, so that they can understand and claim their rights.
  • AU Watch has set itself the ambitious target of ensuring that every African child learn how to read and write, within the next twenty-five years. We work with the campaigns unit to achieve that goal.
  • Our Centre provides adult literacy classes. The objective is to get every man, woman and child to read and write within the next twenty-five years.

For more information contact our Strategic Media and Education Group

The Strategic Media and Education Group

The Strategic Media and Education Group is the policy and coordinating unit of the Directorate, including ensuring that the priority areas of cooperation with the AU are properly covered, viz:

  •  Education for the Youths of Africa
  •  Regional Economic Integration
  •  Human Rights, Good Governance and Rule of Law
  •  Sustainable and Rural De¬vel¬op¬ment
  •  Adaptation to Climate Change
  •  Youths, Women and Small businesses
  •  Peace and Security

The media play an enormously important role in the protection of human rights. They expose human rights violations and offer an arena for different voices to be heard in public discourse. Not without reason, the media have been called the Fourth Estate – an essential addition to the powers of the executive, the legislature and the judiciary.

However, the power of the media can also be misused to the extent that the very functioning of democracy is threatened. Some media outlets have been turned into propaganda megaphones for those in power. Others have been used to incite xenophobic hatred and violence against minorities and other vulnerable groups.

The purpose of journalism is not to please those who hold power or to serve as the mouthpiece of governments. Journalists report, investigate and analyze, they inform us about politics, religion, celebrities, the arts, sports, revolutions and wars. They entertain and sometimes annoy us. But most important of all, they are “public watchdogs”.

This role is fundamental for democracy. Free, independent and pluralistic media based on freedom of information and expression are a core element of any functioning democracy.

Our approach

We produce thousands of hours a year of TV, radio, online and mobile phone content, working where we can in partnership with other media organizations. However, the scope of our work is broader than media production. It includes:

Capacity strengthening: This can take a number of forms, from hands-on training and intensive mentoring for radio journalists and station staff, to providing expert advice to non-media partners on the work of the AU. This might, for example, be at the development policy level, or by researching and analyzing how people use different types of media and information.

Research and impact:Our extensive research program inform each stage of project delivery and helps us measure our impact and reach. We have more than XXX researchers, working in their local languages.

Informing development policy:We share our expertise with the AU, development policy-makers, academics and practitioners by supporting and promoting the value of a free and pluralistic media and underlining the importance of communication in achieving AU objectives. By working in partnership with the AU and other CSOs, we share research findings and contribute to the exchange of new ideas and best practice about the role of media and communication in development.