A cartoon by PoV has become the image to illustrate the fight against corruption in Africa. The Media Association of Southern Africa (MASA) decided to use it for its launch on December 9, 2018 – the year designated by the African Union (AU) as the year for “winning the fight against corruption”.
As part of the effort, MASA has created a regional media coalition platform within Southern Africa to fight corruption within the region and to aid media professionals risking their lives and livelihoods in exposing corruption within their countries. To officially launch this platform, on 9 December, all media participating in platform will publish PoV’s cartoon on 9 December, which is also the UN day against corruption.
The MASA itself was created as part of a bureau to fight corruption termed the Network of Anti-Corruption Stakeholders of Southern Africa (NACCSA) founded jointly by the African Union’s Southern Africa Regional Office (SARO) as well as the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).
The initiative comes as sobering figures are making their way out of Africa. According to the Committee for the Protection of Journalists, in 2017 no less than 262 journalists and media professionals were languishing behind bars globally for exposing and reporting upon corruption within their countries. Out of these 262, no less than 66 journalists were jailed in Africa for reporting on corruption.