The Media Institute of Southern Africa
The Media Institute of Southern Africa is an African organization that is heavily involved in media-related issues in the country. If you are interested in learning more about Africa, its nations and issues confronting its citizens, look to this type of organization for the answers.
Officially launched in September 1992, the Media Institute of Southern Africa, more commonly referred to as MISA, is a non-governmental organization. MISA has members in 11 of the Southern Africa Development Community nations. Chapters of MISA are located in Angola, Lesotho, Swaziland, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia, Tanzania, Namibia, Malawi and Mozambique.
The creation of MISA
For many years, the media in Africa had a history of intimidation, imprisonment and censorship. In 1991, in an effort to bring about change, African newspaper journalists compiled a statement of press freedom principles known as the Declaration of Windhoek. MISA was created to promote the free, pluralistic and independent media throughout the world and especially in Africa.
In order to further the causes of democracy and human rights in Africa, MISA works to promote the cooperation and free flow of information between media workers. Because MISA is mainly a facilitator, coordinator and communicator, it tries to work cooperatively with like-minded individuals and organizations toward the goal of attaining a truly free and pluralistic media in southern Africa.
The Regional Secretariat
The MISA Regional Secretariat is located in Windhoek, Namibia. The main functions of the Secretariat are to conduct advocacy, facilitate news exchange, establish a platform and chapter in each of the Southern Africa Development Community nations, enable individual members, national chapters and the independent media and to develop, maintain and manage planning and financial systems for MISA's programs and core functions. It also works with and coordinates with key community members to further the goals of the organization.
Many people desire to see the African nations move in a positive direction with respect to democratic principles as well as human rights. Because a free, independent and pluralistic media is important in attaining these goals, MISA is an organization that is serving an important function in Africa.