Mr Mohamed Garba, the President of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), has been elected the new president of the Federation of African Journalists (FAJ) at a Congress in Casablanca, Morocco.
Mohamed Garba replaces Omar Faruk Osman Nur who served as FAJ President for the past six years.
Ms Maria Louisa Carvalho of the Angolan Journalists Union was elected as Vice President of the Federation with Stanis Nkundiye of the National Syndicate of Media Professionals in the Democratic Republic of Congo retaining his position as Treasurer of FAJ.
Other members of the Steering Committee are Ibrahima Khalilloulah Ndiaye (Senegal), Alexandre Niyungeko (Burundi) Muheldin Ahmed Titawi (Sudan) Credo Tetteh (Togo) and the former Vice President of the Federation, Foster Dongozi, from the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) and Mouhamed Bchir Chakakou (Tunisia).
Edouard Adzotsa (Congo Brazzaville), Collin Haba (Rwanda) and Rolland Affail Monney (President-elect, Ghana Journalists Association) were elected as reserve members.
In an inaugural address, Mr Garba, said that the primary concern of the new Steering Committee would be to unite the affiliates on the continent and ensure unions are strengthened to defend the rights and welfare of their members.
“We will endeavour to confront the major challenges before us and will always do the best to promote respect of the rights of journalists and to promote quality journalism in Africa.”
Mr Garba paid tribute to the outgoing FAJ President, Osman Nur and the Steering Committee, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) for their support, dedication.
He pledged to ensure safety and protection of journalists in Africa and the world at large and to continue to work with the IFJ in the most effective manner.”
Meanwhile, the pan-African Gender Council Committee was officially established making FAJ, the first IFJ continental Federation that has special structures dedicated to addressing the needs, interests, and issues of female journalists.
Congress elected Mrs Mounia Belafia (Morocco), Fatima Abdulkareem (Nigeria), Carla Lima (Cape Verde), Angele Chisimba (Zambia) and Kadiatou Diallo (Guinea Conakry) as members of the gender council committee.
Mr Jim Boumelha, President of IFJ, appealed to the new leadership to rebrand its image in order to maintain a high-level profile with partners and the continental trade union movements. GNA