Tributes for Makan Kone – champion of media freedom in Africa

EDITORS from across Africa have paid warm and loving tributes to Makan Kone, the secretary-general of The African Editors Forum (TAEF) who passed away on Monday after a short illness.

Kone’s sudden passing has also shocked his family, journalists and editors. He died barely 24 hours after he was admitted to a hospital in his hometown of Bamako, Mali after he had breathing difficulties.

Kone was editor of the Nouvelle Liberation, Managing Director of Radio Rampart and former editor of Le Telegraphe. He was also former secretary-general of the Association of Press Editors of Mali. and ex-chairperson of the Mali Press House.

TAEF has paid a tribute to Kone, 46, as a media activist and hero who served the organisation and the African media industry with aplomb for many years.

In a statement TAEF said Kone was in the leadership collective that championed  programmes on media freedom and the safety of journalists. 

Jovial Rantao, the chairperson of TAEF said: “We are shocked and saddened that one of our own who gave up his life for media freedom and the safety of journalists has been taken from us. We mourn Makan and celebrate his rich legacy, both as journalist, editor and media activist. He worked tirelessly to ensure that the media was not silenced in Mali, West Africa and the rest of the continent. Makan may have gone but he lives in every one of us. We shall, in his name and those of many others who have preceded him, continue with the struggle for media freedom, independence of the media and the safety of all journalists throughout Africa.”

TAEF extended its heartfelt condolences to Kone’s widow and his family, who have now lost three sons in seven months. 

Kone is survived by his widow Gogo and six children. In lines with Islamic rites, Kone will be buried in Bamako, Mali, on Tuesday. 

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