Who We Are
Over the past twenty (20) years, MISA has positioned itself as the primary advocate for media freedom and freedom of expression in southern Africa. MISA programmes have grown and now have a global outreach especially through the media violations monitoring programme. As a result, MISA’s work and agenda have also been taken up by many civic organisations in the region, thereby creating consciousness of the linkages between media freedom, freedom of expression and broader human rights and democratic campaigns. The founding of MISA was triggered by the Windhoek Declaration on Promoting Independent and Pluralistic Media in Africa of 1991. The MISA Education and Production Trust was registered on 12 October 1994 in Windhoek, Namibia, by a group of activist media practitioners. The aim of the Trust is to promote and strengthen a pluralistic and independent media in Southern Africa as a pillar of the democratic process. MISA was formed against the backdrop of media violations and harassment of journalists by governments in the region. MISA as a membership based NGO.
- MISA operates as a regional programme with national chapters forming its membership in 11 (eleven) southern African countries;
- MISA has a participatory corporate governance structure that involves all its member chapters from national to regional level;
- MISA has a decentralised corporate management structure with the Regional Secretariat at the top supported by national chapter management structures;
- The MISA members are National Chapters;
- Each Chapter is registered as an autonomous NGO or Trust in accordance with the laws of the country where the chapter is registered and
- Chapter rules and regulations are in place to define the corporate identity of national chapters as members of MISA.
MISA as a social movement with national chapters
MISA is also an organised group of activists advocating for the specific social agenda of media freedom and freedom of expression. In this regard, MISA is a social movement with the following characteristics:
- The MISA national chapters are membership based NGOs or Trusts;
- At the chapter level, MISA is made up of individual and institutional members promoting the right to freedom of expression and access to information and
- The representatives of these members are elected to form national and regional governance structures in accordance with the provisions of the MISA rules and regulations for chapters as well as the deed of Trust, as amended from time to time.