OSHAKATI – American-based organisation Books for Africa yesterday donated over 300 legal books to the Oshakati High Court library.
The books are valued at about US$20 000 translating to about N$300 000.
Chief Justice Peter Shivute, in his acceptance speech, said the donation is a strategic step towards decentralisation of information and equally marks the expansion of legal reference libraries in the country, which is in line with the decentralisation policy. Shivute said the judiciary is working tirelessly to fill the empty library with books with the dream of making it a national public law library. Emphasising the importance of public libraries, the chief justice said public libraries are the learning mechanisms and knowledge resources necessary to empower citizens and ensure sustainable solutions for national development.
“By accepting this generous donation, this library will now be able to effectively serve the public’s need for legal resources; to assist members of the public who are interested in this resource to develop themselves and know their fundamental human rights and freedoms,” said Shivute.
The books were donated through Books for Africa in partnership with Thomson Reuters, through Jack Mason Law & Democracy Initiative. In addition, Shivute said the donation should be a catalyst that sparks critical thinking and civic engagement around important national issues for all Namibians.
The chief justice urged users of the library to preserve the books and to ensure that they are put to proper use as a reflection of mutual respect and commitment to future endeavours with Books for Africa and the Jack Mason Law & Democracy Initiative.
Lane Ayres of the Jack Mason Law & Democracy Initiative Books for Africa lauded the Namibian judiciary for its independence in exercising its duties as well as for digitalising their work. To date, Books for Africa has donated over 45 million books to 55 African countries.