The constitutive General Assembly of the Platform of Organizations of Media Professionals for Peace and Sustainable Development in Central Africa, POMEDAC, took place on December 30, 2021 in Douala, Cameroon, in hybrid format, with the participation of fifteen members in Cameroon (face-to-face) and half a dozen others in Central African countries (by videoconference).
This was thanks to logistical support from the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA).
This meeting followed the commitment made by the participants at the end of the Regional Forum to raise awareness and strengthen the capacities of the media and communication regulatory bodies on the prevention of conflicts linked to hate speech and the fight against this phenomenon in Central Africa, organized from October 26 to 29, 2021 in Douala.
The aforementioned forum had led to the creation of the said platform and the setting up of a working group responsible for preparing its basic texts within a period of one month.
The constitutive General Assembly of the platform thus enabled the working group to present its constitution and bylaws of this new structure.
The discussions resulted in the adoption of these texts, after numerous amendments made by the participants.
The setting up of an Executive Board to lead the activities of the platform after nearly 5 hours of discussions around issues related to the functioning of the platform.
At the end, a pioneer executive bureau was elected as follows
1- President: Tarhyang Enowbikah Tabe, (Cameroon)
2- Vice-President: Abbas Mohamoud Tahir, (Chad)
3- Secretary General: Marie-Noëlle Guichi, (Cameroon)
4- Deputy Secretary General: Jean Fernand Koena (RCA)
5- Treasurer: Suzanne Mveng (Cameroon)
6- Financial secretary: Chimène Sandra Ndouma (Gabon)
7- Communication and Public Relations Officer: Sebastiâo Inacio Junior (Angola)
8- Head Of Resource Mobilization Commission: Tchonko Becky Bissong (Cameroon)
9- Commission for the fight against hate speech and the promotion of peace: Roland Lewis Rugero, Burundi,
10- Sustainable Development Commission: Janvier P. Nshimyumukiza, Rwanda,
11- Ethics, Arbitration and Discipline Commission: Gaby Kuba Bekanga (DRC)
12- Adviser N ° 1: Scholar Maloke, Cameroon
13- Adviser N ° 2: Thierry Eba, Cameroon
Speaking at the beginning and at the end of the proceedings, the very first president of the platform, Cameroonian born, Tarhyang Enowbikah Tabe, who is Executive Director of The Cameroon Association Of Media Professionals, CAMP, indicated that this organization aims to tackle the problem of hate speech and to discuss the ways and means to deal with them in a concerted and coherent manner AS well as fostering peace and sustainable Development in the Central African Sub Region.
“My priority as President of the platform is to use the media to push for peace and the sustainable development agenda of the Sub Region” he told MMI.
Tarhyang added: “… I am also interested in working towards freedom of speech, democracy and good governance and above all fighting hate speech and xenophobia.”
Tarhyang counts on the effective contribution of all member organizations in the countries of Central Africa, members of this executive board or not, especially the three countries which could not be present neither at the October forum in Douala or at this general assembly though invited.
These are precisely Congo Brazzaville, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe.
For him, the participation of all is essential and the support of partners is crucial for the success of his three-year mandate.