West and Central African journalists meet to establish CENOZO
The promotion of investigative journalism in the Sahel region and neighbouring countries supports the implementation of Article 13 of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), ratified by most States in the region, whereby each State Party shall take the appropriate measures to protect "the freedom to seek, receive, publish and disseminate information concerning corruption".
On 8-9 July 2015, UNODC, in partnership with the Norbert Zongo National Press Centre, brought together eighteen journalists from West and Central Africa to formally establish the Norbert Zongo Cell for Investigative Journalism in West Africa (CENOZO).
CENOZO, which will be headquartered at the Norbert Zongo National Press Centre, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, will aim to actively promote investigative journalism in West Africa on topics such as corruption, organized crime, bad governance, and violations of human rights. Particular emphasis will be put on the support, training and mentoring of West African journalists, who will for example have access to legal assistance and grants supporting their investigations.
The collaborative event, which took place in Ouagadougou, successfully adopted the statutes, the roadmap and elected the Board of Directors for the new association. Furthermore, this meeting was a follow-up on the four day training on investigative journalism that UNODC organised in Saly, Senegal in November 2014. That training, which gathered sixty journalists from fourteen different countries in West and Central Africa, Latin America and Europe, adopted the "Saly Declaration" which recommended, among other, the creation of a "cell for investigative journalism to promote the continuous strengthening of capacities of journalists in the region to undertake investigative journalism".
Supporting the establishment of CENOZO is part of a series of anti-corruption activities undertaken by UNODC in the Sahel region. This event was made possible thanks to the contribution of Denmark.