World press freedom: Freedom of expression, access to information, and inclusivity in East Africa


Strathmore University’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences, in collaboration with UNESCO, hosted an online symposium to commemorate the World Press Freedom Day on April 27, 2023.

The webinar brought together experts and stakeholders in the media industry to discuss the pressing issues facing the media in East Africa. Titled World Press Freedom: Freedom of Expression, Access to Information, and Inclusivity in East Africa, the session explored the challenges and opportunities for promoting press freedom and the right to access information in the region.

The keynote speaker for the symposium, Misako Ito, Regional Advisor for Communication and Information for Africa said, “UNESCO’s theme for this year’s world press freedom day is shaping a future of Rights: Freedom of expression as a driver for all other human rights. Freedom of expression and free flow of information are a prerequisite to the achievement of the #SDGs. We see press freedom as integral in the protection of human rights”. Ms. Ito has a wealth of experience and knowledge on media and communication issues having worked extensively in promoting media freedom and access to information across the world.

Other speakers at the symposium included: David Omwoyo, CEO, Media Council of Kenya (MCK); Irungu Houghton, Executive Director, Amnesty International Kenya; Churchill Otieno, President, Kenya Editors Guild; Grace Wakio Kakai, Deputy Registrar, African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR); Eric Oduor, Secretary-General, Kenya Union of Journalists (KUJ); Samuel Kimeu, Executive Director, Africa’s Voices and Ashley Kidula, Communications Student, Strathmore University.

These experts provided insights into the current state of press freedom in East Africa, examined issues of misinformation and disinformation, assessed the link between human rights and access to information, discussed the challenges facing journalists and media organizations, and explored ways to promote inclusivity in the media industry.

“We are delighted to have such a distinguished lineup of speakers at our symposium,” said Dr. Magdalene Dimba, Dean, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Strathmore University.  “Their expertise and insights are invaluable in helping us understand the issues facing the media in East Africa and the solutions needed to promote press freedom and access to information,” Dr. Dimba added.

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