Executive director in the ministry of information Mbeuta Ua-Ndjarakana has called on local and international businesses to contribute towards the hosting of the World Press Freedom Day. Close to 200 local and international delegates will participate in the event slated from 1-3 May in Windhoek.
Ua-Ndjarakana called on the private sector to fill the gaps where necessary to make a success of the World Press Freedom Day, which will mark exactly 30 years since the signing of the famous Windhoek Declaration on 3 May 1991 that paved the way for a free, independent and pluralistic press. The date of the declaration’s adoption, 3 May, has subsequently been declared as World Press Freedom Day. “There are still gaps in the budget in hosting this conference, therefore we invite other players to knock on our doors to avail their generosity both local and international to fill the gaps,” Ua-Ndjarakana said yesterday.
He said Namibia, as hosts, is ready and has been working around the clock with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)’s Windhoek office to realise all the required logistical arrangements.
“We have set up sub-committees on logistics and transport, protocol safety and security, entertainment, culture and tourism, information and publicity, so we are tuned to realise these goals,” he said.
He said Namibia is expected to cover 60% of the cost towards hosting the conference, which amounts to N$5 million while UNESCO is expected to cover the remaining 40%. Ua-Ndjarakana further commended the media fraternity under the Editors Forum of Namibia (EFN), saying that they have played an important role in advertising the day on various media platforms. WPFD is an annual celebration of press freedom, observed on 3 May every year. It serves as a reminder to governments of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom and is also a day of reflection among media professionals about issues of press freedom and professional ethics.
The UN General Assembly proclaimed WPFD in 1993, following the recommendation of UNESCO’s General Conference in 1991.