World News Media Congress in Durban Leads New Initiatives for WAN-IFRA in Africa

The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) will hold its 69th World News Media Congress, 24th World Editors Forum, and 27th World Advertising Forum in Durban, South Africa, from 7th to 9th June 2017. It will be only the second time the World News Media Congress has come to the African continent following the success of the Cape Town event in 2007. The Congress is part of a broader plan to expand activities in Africa and connect with colleagues who are leading the media transformation across the continent.

Vincent Peyrègne, CEO of WAN-IFRA, said: “We are thrilled to be bringing the Congress back to Africa. Our local partners are outlining groundbreaking support for our ambitious plans and Durban – an award-winning city in one of the most attractive tourist destinations in South Africa – is the ideal venue. News publishing companies in South Africa are demonstrating a real thirst for innovation that we will have a taste of during our upcoming Digital Media Africa conference on 28-30 September 2016. This will be a fantastic kick-start in preparation for the Congress next year.”

The events – to be held in Johannesburg in September 2016 and Durban in June 2017 – are part of a broader expansion of WAN-IFRA’s activities in Africa.

In January of this year, the Women In News (WIN) initiative, a highly regarded leadership programme for women media professionals, began its sixth year on the continent. Bringing together middle and senior managers from newspapers in Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, as well as a team of coaches and mentors from local and international markets, the programme empowers women journalists and editors to contribute to the editorial agenda and progress to greater levels of decision-making within their media.

The goal of the project, which is supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is to assist women media professionals who are under-represented in top management positions to excel in their careers. The initiative also engages the media industry at the global level to sensitize and promote change from within, and forms part of WAN-IFRA’s Gender and Media Freedom Strategy. The strategy combines WAN-IFRA’s global experience in running advocacy and development initiatives in support of media freedom and democracy with the first-hand knowledge of the impact gender-based programmes can have on media and society.

More information on WAN-IFRA’s current Media Freedom work can be found at


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