By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The African Union Media unit is looking into ways to support local journalists.
This was revealed by the Secretary General of the Somaliland Journalist Association-SOLJA, Mr. Mohamed-Rashid Muhumed Farah upon arrival back from the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa where he attended the 20th African Union-AU 20th heads of state summit
Mohamed-Rashid told the Somalilandsun that his journalists welfare body anticipate a development impetus as a result of support pledges made by a number of African and western Governments as well as international bodies.
During the last sessions of the AU summit the SOLJA Secretary general managed to meet with various dignitaries among them: Ambassador Augustine Mahiga –UN Special representative to Somalia/Somaliland, Ms Esther Asaa Yambou- AU public relations officer and Hon Deng Alor Kuol – Minister of Presidency , South Sudan .
Support requested during the various meetings pertained to funds for training journalists in local and foreign institutions, legal expertise as well as for the establishment of as media centre that shall be utilized for provision of relevant journalism work tools.
The SOLJA boss said that his organization which is attending the AU summit for the first time ever, has managed to conduct the meetings by courtesy of the Journalists for African Renaissance (JAR) which is fronted by the AU, which also facilitated official invitation to the summit.
During earlier meetings the SOLJA boss lobbied a number of countries and organizations representatives of which only Kenya, Egypt and the Mohamed Foundation have so far made commitments while a couple others have promised feedback upon further deliberations back in their respective countries.
Mohamed-Rashid M Farah thanked the chair of the Journalists for African Renaissance (JAR) Ms Muha Dahir Farah who made the invitation, trip and subsequent arrangements in Addis Ababa possible.
Ms Muha Dahir is a prominent local journalist who became the first Somalilander and Woman to be elected leader of the Journalists for African Renaissance body, a post she has held for two consecutive terms of two years each.