Gambia Press Union (GPU) have trained stakeholders in the entertainment
industry, including musicians, theatre, filmmakers and producers on freedom of
expression and access to information held at Baobab Hotel in Bijilo.
Funded by the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF), the training was part of the Union’s two-year project; Enhancing media-government relations to improve the legal environment for freedom of expression in The Gambia which was launched in April, 2017.
The idea is to encourage artistes to create songs, theatre and films around freedom of speech. They are expected to be represented on the Civil Society Organisation (CSO), coalition on freedom of expression.
Lamin Jahateh, the Union’s project manager explained that GPU is an active advocator of freedom of expression and access to information. “Our main aim is to ensure that people are well informed, educated and entertained. When we were applying for the democratic fund; one of our components was to engage media, film makers, artistes and producers to discuss about freedom of expression. We all know that GPU’s role is central in term of access to information,” he said.
Sheriff Kanuteh, Secretary General of Gambia Collective Society highlighted that all Gambians have right to freedom of expression. “I am glad that GPU has now decided to use the most effective tools to campaign freedom of expression by engaging the arts industry.”
He urged participants to make best use of the opportunity and help GPU in their fight for freedom of expression.
Hassoum Ceesay, acting director general of National Center for Arts and Culture said the media have been very lonely in the fight for freedom of speech in the country. “People used to think that when freedom of expression is talked about, it is only a fight for journalists but now, we the artistes have understood that we have a role to play in freedom of expression and access to information,” he pointed.