Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has released its 2020 World Press Freedom Index, which ranks 180 countries based on the level of press freedom available to journalists. It, however, said press freedom remains highly fragile in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The latest Reporters Without Borders For Press Freedom (RSF) index released this week indicates that Namibia, ranked 23 in the world, is the first country in Africa as far as press freedom is concerned. Cabi Verde is ranked at (25) second in Africa, while Ghana (30), South Africa (31), and Burkina Faso (38) are all ranked in the top five African countries enjoying press freedom in 2020.
At a time when misinformation is increasing, the next decade will see historic choices for journalism in Africa. Societies where factual accuracy and open discussion of ideas are cardinal values must firmly and unequivocally support journalists, giving them legal protection, providing financial support that is not based on political favour in a precarious sector whose employees are vulnerable to influence, and expanding training facilities – still few and far between — before and during a journalist’s career – (RSF World Press Freedom)
Reporters Without Borders said, “Press freedom has a firm hold in Namibia, Africa’s best ranked country in RSF’s World Press Freedom Index, and enjoys solid guarantees. It is protected by the constitution and is often defended by the courts when under attack from other quarters within the state or by vested interests.”
The Press Freedom Index is an annual ranking of countries compiled and published by Reporters Without Borders based on the organization’s own assessment of the countries’ press freedom records in the previous year.
The index evaluates media pluralism and independence, media legislative framework and the safety of journalists in addition to the quality of journalism in a country. The RSF indicated that journalists continue to lose their lives in Africa. According to them, 102 journalists have been killed in Africa over the past 10 years.
Below are the Top 10 African Countries Enjoying Press Freedom in 2020
Published annually by RSF since 2002, the World Press Freedom Index measures the level of media freedom in 180 countries and territories. It assesses the level of pluralism, media independence, the environment for the media and self-censorship, the legal framework, transparency, and the quality of infrastructure that supports the production of news and information. It does not evaluate government policy.
The global indicator and the regional indicators are calculated on the basis of the scores registered for each country. These country scores are calculated from responses to a questionnaire in 20 languages that is completed by experts throughout the world, supported by a qualitative analysis. The scores measure constraints and violations, so the higher the score, the worse the situation. Growing awareness of the Index has made it an extremely useful advocacy tool.