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Gambia Press Union leadership embarks on learning visit to Kenya

March 05, 2024 • By Musa Saho
Leadership of the Gambia Press Union
The Gambia Press Union (GPU) leadership is in Nairobi this week on a learning visit to the Kenya Union of Journalists (KUJ) and affiliates and allied media organisations.

The 4-8 March study tour forms part of activities the GPU conducts under the “EU-support to the consolidation of democratic dispensation in The Gambia (EU-CODE Project)”, which is being implemented by International IDEA. 

The GPU leadership seeks to learn from the KUJ, among other things, best practices, experiences, and successes in seeking redress to courts on labour issues, attacks on journalists, collective bargaining agreement implementation, managing membership, and improving services and engagements with members.

“We are hoping to tap from the experiences of the KUJ, their proactive and successful approaches to advocacy for promoting media freedom and ethical standards, and improving working conditions of media workers through collective bargaining,” GPU President, Muhammed S. Bah, said on Monday. 

“The successes that the KUJ registered in tackling labour-related issues to enhance media workers’ welfare and successful membership drives and initiatives are things we can replicate or tailor such approaches to improve the welfare of Gambian media workers,” Bah said. 

The Gambian media workers still endure poor working conditions, with limited resources to effectively and efficiently deliver on their mandate, and low wages and pay gaps that fall short of acceptable living standards. In addition, impunity persists for physical attacks on journalists and other media workers. 

“Improving and ensuring better working conditions, employee benefits and improving the safety and security of journalists and media workers has been a top priority for the GPU in recent years,” GPU Secretary General, Modou S. Joof, said. 

“The KUJ, which is regarded as the ‘strongest affiliate’ journalists’ union in East Africa, has done some good work in terms of collective bargaining to improve work conditions and has initiated and won labor-related cases in court on behalf of media workers. We hope to use these experiences in our quest to improve the welfare, safety, and security of GPU members,” Joof said. 

During the week, the GPU leadership, which includes the President, Vice President Isatou Keita, Board Member Mainuna Bandeh, Secretary General, Programme Manager Samba Jawo, and the Accountant, Buba Fatty, will hold meetings with the following institutions in Kenya:
•    Kenya Union of Journalists
•    Association of Media Women in Kenya (AMWIK) 
•    Association of Freelance Journalists (AFJ)
•    Kenya Editors’ Guild
•    Media Council of Kenya (MCK)
•    Media Complaints Commission (MCC)
•    Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) 

At a meeting with the KUJ on Monday, its Secretary General, Erick Oduor, hailed the visit as a significant step to improving collaborations amongst sister journalists’ unions in Africa.

“We have similar mandates. It is important that we learn from each other and adopt best practices that will significantly enhance the welfare of journalists and media workers in Africa, and therefore, we are happy to receive you and to support you in a successful learning visit,” Oduor said.


About the authors

Musa Saho
Communications Officer, The Gambia
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