Source: Freedom House
- Press freedom in Africa varies widely—with corresponding implications for security.
- Three of the five African countries with the most restrictive press environments are in conflict. In contrast, none of the African countries with the greatest press freedoms face armed struggle.
- The five African countries that have the least free media environments account for 29 percent of all refugees and displaced persons on the continent. For the five countries with the most open press, the figure is a fraction of 1 percent.
A free press plays a critical role in African security by articulating grievances that can guide policy course corrections, fostering dialogue within society, informing the public on major challenges facing the country, strengthening security sector institutions, and exposing corruption, among other means. This is particularly critical in Africa where nearly all conflicts are internal and therefore issues of governance, the equitable allocation of state resources, transparency, and accountability are key forces for stability.
Gaining access to the information that informs African and international publics on African security issues often relies on courageous journalists covering these stories. In honor of World Press Freedom Day, the Africa Center remembers the following journalists who lost their lives covering African conflicts or political crises over the past year:
Marcel Lubala, Radio Télévision nationale congolaise
November 15, 2016, in Mbuji-Mayi, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Mahad Ali Mohamed, Codka Mudug Radio
November 6, 2016, in Galkayo, Somalia
Jeroen Oerlemans, Freelance Journalist
October 2, 2016, in Sirte, Libya
Abdiaziz Ali, Radio Shabelle
September 27, 2016, in Mogadishu, Somalia
Abdelqadir Fassouk, Arraed Satellite TV
July 21, 2016, in Sirte, Libya
Khaled al-Zintani, Freelance Journalist
June 24, 2016, in Benghazi, Libya
Sagal Salad Osman, Radio Mogadishu
June 5, 2016, in Mogadishu, Somalia
Isaac Vuni, Freelance Journalist
Summer, 2016, in Kerepi, South Sudan
El-Hadj Mohamed Diallo, Guinée7, Afrik
February 5, 2016, in Conakry, Guinea
(Source: Committee to Protect Journalists)
Africa Center Expert
- Joseph Siegle, Director of Research
- Africa Center for Strategic Studies, “Overlapping Effects of Autocracy and Conflict in Africa,” September 2016.
- Oluwakemi Okenyodo, “Governance, Accountability, and Security in Nigeria,” Africa Security Brief No. 31, Africa Center for Strategic Studies, June 2016.
- Joseph Siegle, “ICT and Accountability,” in Bits and Atoms: Information and Communications Technology in Areas of Limited Statehood, Stephen Livingston and Gregor Walter-Drop, eds., 2014.
- Joseph Siegle, “Managing Volatility with the Expanded Access to Information in Fragile States,” in Diplomacy, Development, and Security in the Information Age, Shanthi Kalathil, ed., 2013.
- Steven Livingston, “Africa’s Information Revolution: Implications for Crime, Policing, and Citizen Security,” Research Paper No. 5, Africa Center for Strategic Studies, November 2013.
- Joseph Siegle, “Overcoming Dilemmas of Democratization: Protecting Civil Liberties and the Right to Democracy,” Nordic Journal of International Law, Vol. 81, 2012.
- Steven Livingston, “Africa’s Evolving Infosystems: A Pathway to Security and Stability,” Research Paper No. 2, Africa Center for Strategic Studies, March 2011.