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European Union Supports Zambia’s Media Freedom and Governance Initiatives

The European Union’s Head of Delegation in Zambia, Ambassador Karolina Stasiak, reaffirmed the EU’s dedication to supporting various initiatives in Zambia.

Minister of Information and Media and Chief Government Spokesperson, Hon. Cornelius Mweetwa, MP, outlined the significant contributions the EU has made to Zambia, including support for projects such as energy efficiency, rehabilitation of infrastructure like the Kariba Dam, water and sanitation, youth empowerment, trade, private sector development, agriculture, and food security.

Both parties emphasized the critical importance of media freedom in Zambia’s governance. The Zambian government assured its commitment to ensuring complete autonomy for public media institutions, emphasizing the cornerstone role of editorial and reportorial independence.

Furthermore, there’s an ongoing effort to review legislation such as the ZNBC Act and the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) Act of 2022 to align them with current media trends and address emerging issues while maintaining media freedom.

Regarding social media regulation, it was clarified that the Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Act of 2021 already provides a framework for reasonable regulation without intending to restrict freedom of speech and expression.

Additionally, discussions revolved around the upcoming implementation of the Access to Information (ATI) Law, with the Ministry of Information and Media anticipating EU assistance in rolling out programs to inform the public about its implications.

Ambassador Karolina Stasiak reiterated the EU’s unwavering support for Zambia’s governance and emphasized the EU’s role in observing elections for the past two decades. The courtesy call underscored a shared commitment to media freedom, good governance, and transparency, with the EU continuing to play a supportive role in these endeavors alongside the Zambian government.

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