The Role of Media Development in Democratic Transitions: The Case of Southern Africa


Libby Lloyd

Author, South Africa’s Media 20 Years After Apartheid

Amadou Mahtar Ba

African Media Initiative

Dave Peterson

National Endowment for Democracy

Jerri Eddings

International Center for Journalists

Moderated by:

Reed Kramer 

AllAfrica Global Media

A vibrant and diverse media culture is an essential facet to any democratic transition. This was evident in South Africa’s transition from apartheid censorship to democracy and freedom of expression, but according to Freedom House’s Freedom of the Press Survey, the country’s media freedom declined from Free to Partly Free in 2010. This decline, its implications in southern Africa, and media development in democratic transitions in the region were discussed at CIMA’s event on July 25. The event also served as the launch for CIMA’s report, South Africa’s Media 20 Years After Apartheid. Panelists focused on the importance of media development in the region, the challenges of the past 20 years, and how to work for a more open and diverse media environment throughout the region.

About the speakers:

Libby Lloyd works as a researcher, consultant, and freelancer in South Africa, focusing mainly on media and broadcasting policy and regulatory issues. She began her career as a journalist in radio and print media but was diverted into policy and media development work in the 1990s. She has been appointed as a member of the council regulating broadcasting and telecommunications in South Africa, was the first CEO of the Media Development and Diversity Agency, and served briefly as a member of the interim board of the South African Broadcasting Corporation. She has been involved in research into funding options for the regulator for the Department of Communications) research into models for public broadcasting for the Open Society Foundation, a review of South African content policies, and a study into criminalization of journalism for the African Freedom of Expression rapporteur. Lloyd has been appointed by the minister of communications to serve on an advisory panel responsible for reviewing all ICT policies and legislation in South Africa and is the chairperson of the broadcasting sub-committee of the panel.

Dave Peterson is the senior director of the Africa program of the National Endowment for Democracy. Since 1988, he has been responsible for the NED’s program to identify and assist hundreds of African non-governmental organizations and activists working for democracy, human rights, free press, justice, and peace.  He was formerly executive director of Project South Africa of the A. Philip Randolph Educational Fund, and a freelance journalist in Africa and Turkey.  He has a BA from Columbia College and an MS from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism in New York, as well as an MA in African Studies and International Economics from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC. He has visited more than 40 African countries since 1984 and has published numerous articles on African politics.

Amadou Mahtar Bais the chief executive of the African Media Initiative (AMI), a pan-African effort aimed at providing the continent’s media owners and practitioners with the necessary tools to play an effective role in their societies. AMI aims to strengthen the media sector in Africa to ensure the accountability of governments and other institutions and to promote democratic governance, human development, and economic growth. He is also a co-founder and Chairman of AllAfrica Global Media, Inc., the largest distributor of African news and information worldwide. He is an advisory board member of the Reporting Developing Network Africa as well as a member of the African Leadership Network, the Global Council for the Future of Journalism, the Advisory Committee of the Knight International Journalism Fellowships, and the Africa Policy Advisory Board of ONE.  He holds master’s degrees from the Ecole Francaise des Professionnels de la Communication in Paris and from the Paris 7 University (Jussieu).

Jerri Eddings is a veteran journalist with extensive experience in the United States and Africa as a reporter, editor, television producer, and director of media training programs. She is currently a program director with the International Center for Journalists in Washington, DC, responsible for coordinating global programs, including the Knight Health and Development Fellowships in sub-Saharan Africa. During the course of her journalism career, she worked as a foreign correspondent for the Baltimore Sun in Southern Africa, as chief congressional correspondent for U.S. News & World Report magazine in Washington, DC; as director of the Freedom Forum’s Africa media center in Johannesburg, South Africa; and as director of Africa programming for Howard University Television (WHUT), a PBS station in Washington. Eddings is a former Nieman fellow at Harvard University and a graduate of the University of South Carolina.

Reed Kramer is co-founder and CEO of AllAfrica Global Media, a digital pioneer and publisher of, which publishes  more than 1,500 posts daily–original reporting and analysis plus aggregated content from 130 African media organizations and hundreds of international sources. AllAfrica serves a global audience of policymakers, business executives, investors, analysts, diplomats, media professionals, scholars, and activists, with further distribution on social media and through such clients as LexisNexis, Bloomberg, Factiva (Dow Jones), Financial Times and L’Européenne de Données. Kramer has reported from and about Africa for the Washington Post, Le Monde Diplomatique, CNN, the BBC, PBS Newshour, and NPR, among others. He is a graduate of Duke University, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and co-recipient of a Media Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Africa America Institute in New York.