Strengthening Democracy and Governance through Media
Equatorial Guinea is at a vital stage of its democratic process, and for close to a decade now, the country has been experiencing a proliferation of ideas and opinions indicating that Equato-Guineans are enjoying a certain degree of freedom of expression, freedom of opinion and media pluralism, which are all tenets of democracy. However, despite the inclusion of these freedoms in the country's Constitution, democratic institutions are still very fragile and the protection of these rights is not always ensured. To consolidate this nascent democracy, the media, as a key player in any democratic arena, has a major role to play in educating, informing, sensitising and mobilising all political forces towards nation building. To do this, the media must serve not only as a watchdog of the society, but also as a prime mover for social dialogue and national integration. Media professionals must acquire the necessary professional skills to constructively analyse, criticize and report objectively on issues of national interest. A free and editorially independent press is an essential instrument for the promotion and consolidation of democracy and good governance. This project is innovative and consistent with the objectives of promoting the development of sound democratic values and the protection of fundamental rights. It aims to provide a selected group of media professionals with the necessary theoretical, practical and technological skills based on ethical principles that will help them to promote the country's nascent democracy; to launch a national debate involving journalists, members of the police force, the judiciary and the Parliament, on the role of the media in strengthening the national democratic culture and promoting good governance, accountability and political tolerance. This will contribute to the development and consolidation of a democratic culture in Equatorial Guinea; create an enabling environment for media professionals to develop the relevant competence towards building a national culture for peace and tolerance; and promote the exercise of journalistic ethics, press freedom, freedom of expression as a mechanism for strengthening democracy, good governance, a national culture of peace and political tolerance.