Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) on Thursday called on media in the region to exercise their influence responsibly to enhance social cohesion, promote peace and stability, and advance the SADC Regional Integration Agenda.

Speaking at the commemoration of World Press Freedom Day in Botswana, SADC Executive Secretary Stergomena Tax said there are a number of areas where the media can make positive contributions to the SADC region.

“It is encouraging to note that, since 1991 when the Declaration of Windhoek was adopted, the SADC Region has witnessed a proliferation of state and private controlled media outlets,” said Tax.

In most SADC member states, journalists continue to report freely in exercise of their freedom of expression, as stipulated in the constitutions of most member states.

According to Tax, SADC values the important role of media, recognizing that the media helps to inform, educate and entertain a large, heterogeneous and scattered groups of people that would not be reached through interpersonal means.

She also call for the media to assist in the promotion of the SADC Industrialization Agenda.

In 2015, SADC adopted the regional Industrialization Strategy and Roadmap (2015-2063) which was developed as an inclusive long-term modernization and economic transformation scheme. Enditem

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