Garowe, September 22: The Media Association of Puntland (MAP) and Puntland Development Research Center (PDRC) on September 21, signed a memorandum of understanding to implement a major media embedment initiative aimed at strengthening the media’s role in reporting on social issues.
The MoU signed in Garowe between Mr. Mohamed Dahir Warsame, Chairperson MAP, and Mr. Ali Farah, Director PDRC aims to establish a framework of cooperation between the two parties over the implementation of a Media Embedment Initiative (MEI) in Puntland whose primeval objective is to provide media practitioners with a rotational access opportunity to accompany PDRC into the hard-to-reach areas of Puntland.
The agreement was signed on the last day of a two-day election reporting training for 20 journalists organized by PDRC and co-facilitated by MAP.
Mohamed Dahir, Chair MAP speaking after signing the MOU noted ‘’ We have signed an agreement in furtherance to previously existing media embedment program in which reporters together with PDRC drove to locations distant from the tarmac road visited remote communities and later developed news stories capturing the issues observed and challenges faced by the hard to reach communities’’
He added, ”Additional topic this time will be the ongoing democratization process in which Puntland prepares to hold the second phase of the local councils’ elections, and together with PDRC this MOU aims to promote public participation in local elections through voter education, among others” – Said Dahir
Ali Farah, Director of PDRC who also gave remarks after signing the MOU said ‘’ In the last elections, MAP and PDRC have worked jointly on issues related to the implementation of the electoral process. The process has been partially implemented, it is therefore very important that we concert efforts to ensure the remaining phase is successfully implemented.
Last October 25, 2021, three districts of Puntland state held “one person, one vote” municipality elections for the first time in more than fifty years. The council’s elections set a historical precedent for a more democratic system in which the people pick their representatives.
Puntland’s Media guild – MAP collaborated with the Transitional Puntland Electoral Commission (TPEC) and other involved CSOs in ensuring the first phase of the local democratization process is successful. MAP reiterates its commitment to ensuring the media’s role in the local elections is effective and will collaborate with the relevant stakeholders to make sure the second phase of the council’s elections is held successfully.
MAP through its Puntland state-wide members (journalists and media establishments) closely cooperated with TPEC during last year’s municipality elections – Kudos to the mainstream media for delivering significantly their role in educating the public on the election process, however, we need to double up efforts to ensure we (media) play the expected vital role in educating the public on the electoral process for the remaining council’s elections of the 47-districts are successful – Emphasized MAP’s chair, Mohamed Dahir
MAP will soon be holding a tailored journalism election reporting course for local journalists as part of its mission to ensure that traditional media practitioners are well prepared to perform their duties.
If successful and beyond the historical significance, the municipal elections aim to influence how state legislative and presidential elections will be conducted.
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