The President of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou, will sign the Declaration of Table Mountain, which calls for the repeal of criminal defamation and insult laws in Africa, at a ceremony at the Palais des Congres in Niamey, Niger, on Wednesday, 30 November, at 10 am.
President Issoufou will be the first head of state to sign the document, which also calls for putting press freedom higher on the African agenda.
The Declaration of Table Mountain was adopted at the World Newspaper Congress held in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2007, the annual meeting of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA). Numerous press freedom and civil society organisations, including South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, have endorsed the declaration, which identifies criminal defamation and ‘insult’ laws as amongst the most severe obstacles to securing the future of the independent press in Africa and calls for their repeal. More on the Declaration can be found at http://www.
The signing ceremony is organised by WAN-IFRA, the World Editors Forum, the African Editors Forum, and the Maison de la Presse inNigerand representatives from all the organisations will attend the ceremony.