Cameroon host Africa Media Regulation Authorities

Members of the African Communication Regulation Authorities are partaking in a conference in Yaounde to beef up their capacity in meeting up with media challenges.

Cynthia EFOPA

Under the tutelage of President Paul Biya, the Cameroon National Communication Council on December 14th, 2018, began hosting the 9th conference of the African Communication Regulation Authority and the festivities marking the 20th anniversary of the African Communication Authorities Network (ACRAN) at the Yaounde Congress Hall. The event that brought together representatives of some thirty-five countries in Africa was presided over by the Minister of Communication, Issa Tchiroma Bakary, representing the Prime Minister and Head of Government.

Holding under the theme “20 years of ARCAN: Challenges and prospects”, the heads of media regulation in the African continent focused on the digital implication in communication and the effect of social media in communication patterns. After twenty years of experience, the conference was an opportunity for the participants to make a balance sheet of the existence and functioning of the organ. In this perspective, a retrospect and a foresight of the future was painted. The outcome was, the sector is facing severe challenges in an era that has witnessed tremendous transition from an analogue to a digital system. This has not only facilitated the collect, treatment and publishing of news stories but has brought about the ease dissemination of fake news, hate messages and has promoted immorality and rumor.

Faced with this difficulty, members will have the daunting task to reflect on appropriate methods to contain media malpractices and on means to reinforce their capacity in regulating the digital communication system while taking into consideration cultural diversity. The conference that will run for three days serve as a platform during which all the partakers will share their experiences in a bid to improve on their knowledge in managing the affairs of the sector.

The president of the Cameroon National Communication Council, Peter Essoka, who is automatically the President of the African Communication Regulation Authorities, because Cameroon is the host country, said there is the possibility for the network to apply for an observant position with the African Union and as such, they will play the role of advisers to the Heads of State, when they meet during their annual conference.

In order to bring about the emergence of a credible press not only in Cameroon, but Africa in general, Peter Essoka wish to solicit enough support from governments so as to carry out seminars with media grouping to advise them on how to train the staff in a bid to solve the perennial problem of lack of training that accounts for majority of the malpractices seen on the media.

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