The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), in partnership with the US-based human rights advocacy organisation, Freedom House Inc., will from 2014 analyse and rate all the 16 West African countries on conditions of freedom of expression in their respective countries.
The ratings to be done annually will be called The West Africa Freedom of Expression Index. It will rank all 16 West African countries based on an in-depth assessment of each country’s conditions of press freedom, internet freedom, freedom of association and assembly, religious freedom, artistic freedom, among others.
As part of the preparatory stages for the development of the Index, a two-day experts’ meeting that discussed, developed and adopted a suitable methodology for the Index took place on March 26 – 27, 2013 in Accra. The experts, drawn from West Africa and the US, identified and discussed the specific indicators and weighting system to be used in rating the 16 countries.
The development of the Annual West Africa Freedom of Expression Index is an initiative of MFWA to further create awareness about freedom of expression situations in the region and to ‘name and shame’ countries with bad conditions as a way of putting pressure on them to reform.
The MFWA is a regional independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization based in Accra. It was founded in 1997 to defend and promote the freedom of the media and expression.