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NMF Collaborates to Host the First-ever Oslo Freedom Forum in Johannesburg

When Nelson Mandela established the Nelson Mandela Foundation in 1999, he gave the institution a clear mandate to work on peace and democracy building as well as human rights

NMF Collaborates to Host the First-ever Oslo Freedom Forum in Johannesburg

When Nelson Mandela established the Nelson Mandela Foundation in 1999, he gave the institution a clear mandate to work on peace and democracy building as well as human rights. We believe these three pillars are necessary for a liberatory future, one in which justice and equality is championed and valued. In particular, this future is one in which tragedies like that we have witnessed with Micheal Komape and Lumka Mketwa are never allowed to transpire.

With Human Rights Day upon us, we recognise that we need to be nuanced and strategic about how we endeavour to create a human rights culture. To this end, we are honoured to be a part of the inaugural Oslo Freedom Forum in Johannesburg (OFFinJoburg), in collaboration with the Human Rights Foundation to be held on the 26th of March 2018. We are also pleased to host an event with Media Monitoring Africa and the Oslo Freedom Forum to be held at the Nelson Mandela Foundation on the 27th of March 2018 on Media Freedom. These initiatives are born out of the realisation that free press is integral to the building of institutions of democracy and a culture of human rights.

The Oslo Freedom Forum (OFF)

The Oslo Freedom Forum is a transformative annual conference and global network of human rights activists, global leaders and policy makers, entrepreneurs, tech visionaries, philanthropists, NGOs, and artists who are committed to the promotion of human rights around the world.

OFF provides a platform for revolutionary thinkers to brainstorm ways to expand freedom, speak truth to power, and use cutting-edge technology to drive on-the-ground reform. It has been hailed as the world’s highest-profile human rights conference – a “Davos for dissidents”.

The conference was conceptualised a decade ago in Oslo, Norway, which continues to host the annual flagship forum, while satellite forums are held around the world. The Oslo Freedom Forum is produced by the Human Rights Foundation, a New York-based nonprofit. The Oslo Freedom Forum is made possible, in part, thanks to the generous support of its sponsors, individual donors, Norwegian partner organisations, and in-kind donors.

To learn more about the Oslo Freedom Forum’s ground-breaking work visit its website and follow OFF on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

The Oslo Freedom Forum in Johannesburg (26th March 2018)

OFF is collaborating with the Nelson Mandela Foundation to host the first-ever Oslo Freedom Forum in Johannesburg on March 26, 2018. The day-long conference will feature talks by 10 activists and experts from Africa and around the world, who will take to the stage to speak on various human rights and democracy issues.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Evan Mawarire, Zimbabwean pastor and leader of the #ThisFlag movement
  • Zineb El Rhazoui, human rights activist, columnist and survivor of the 2015 attack on Charlie Hebdo
  • Iyad el-Baghdadi, columnist and political commentator on Islam and democracy
  • Leyla Hussein, is a Somali psychotherapist, writer, and specialist on female genital mutilation (FGM) and gender rights
  • Anastasia Lin, beauty queen and advocate for Chinese human rights
  • Rafael Marques de Morais, Angolan civil rights activist and investigate journalist reporting on government corruption
  • Meron Estefanos, Eritrean radio personality, democracy activist, and advocate for refugees
  • Mohamed Nasheed, former president of the Maldives and environmental activist
  • Omar Sharif Jr., grandson of film star Omar Sharif and LGBT rights activist

Programming will include:

  • Opening press conference
  • 10 OFF-style talks
  • Interactive Expo
  • 3 exclusive, RSVP-only round table discussions about policy, business, and philanthropy, presented by industry leaders to a limited number of attendees
  • Live entertainment by leading local artists

To RSVP for the event please register via www.eiseverywhere.com/ereg/index.php?eventid=305785&categoryid=2340068

Media accreditation is available on the website and media attendance is free

Media Under Fire: but who is making the threats? (27th March 2018)

The ushering of media freedom in South Africa in the post-apartheid state has been one of the most important aspects of maintaining democracy in the country. An event held with MMA on the 8th of March engaged with some of these key moments in South Africa and how these events were able to hold politicians and corporates accountable for the weakening of democracy.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation has long grappled with the ‘capture of democracy’. This capture comes from various forms, such as undue corporate influence, threats of violence, corruption, types of lobbying and populism. Furthermore, in a new media space driven by social and online media there is less control over the types of content leading to new forms of threats. Adding to the concern is that the political moment has also led to types various types of self-censorship, particularly on controversial topics. 

In order to engage with these threats to the media and to freedom of expression, the Oslo Freedom Forum, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and Media Monitoring Africa will host a public dialogue on the threats to media freedom and expression. Three international speakers will provide a global perspective.

Three key lines of inquiry will guide the discussion.

1.) What types of self-censorships have become prevalent due to the political moment?

2.) How have corporate/power interests distracted narratives and what does this mean for media freedom?

3.) How do we harness new technologies to become liberatory rather than polemic and divisive spaces?

4.) What are the emerging threats and where are they coming from?

The three confirmed OFF speakers 

  • Rafael Marques de Morais (Angolan journalist)
  • Zineb El Rhazoui (Moroccan-born French journalist)
  • Iyad el-Baghdadi (Palestinian writer)

Engaged with South Africans 

  • Krivani Pillay (SABC)
  • Khadija Patel (Mail and Guardian)

Facilitated by Chris Vick

10:00-12:00 (followed by a light lunch) 

107 Central Street, Houghton, Johannesburg (Secure parking along Central Street)

Please RSVP to Leed(at)nelsonmandela.org

For media enquiries contact:

Lunga Nene
Email: lungan(at)nelsonmandela.org

For more about the Nelson Mandela Foundation, refer to www.nelsonmandela.org.