The Namibian government, in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation are ready to host this year’s World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) despite Covid-19 challenges, the international body’s representative in Namibia has said.
This anniversary marks 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.
This year’s theme is ‘Information as Public Good’. UNESCO representative to Namibia Djaffar Moussa-Elkadhum told New Era the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic poses a challenge.
“Before Covid-19, we used to organise an event with 800 to 1 000 participants being at the event physically. However, this year it is a challenge to have such a big gathering,” he said.
Moussa-Elkadhum said this implies putting in place virtual platforms, streaming, and audio-visual production supported by a very good band wave system to enable online connection presentations.
He said there is a steering committee that is in charge of overseeing the preparation and a technical committee that is in charge of the organisation aspects, which include programme development, issues related to logistics and the media. Moussa-Elkadhum said UNESCO director general Audrey Azoulay will be physically present and will be joined by other high profile media personalities.
“We have invited some high-profile media personalities and high-ranking UN officials, but although they confirmed we don’t know whether they will be physically here due to Covid-19, but Namibia is ready and has put in place all the necessary protocols which will also be determined by the country of their origin,” he said.
Moussa-Elkadhum further applauded Namibia’s media space, saying the country has put in place a healthy environment for journalists to operate in.
Namibia was ranked among the world’s leaders in last year’s World Press Freedom Index, and as the African country with the most press freedom for the second consecutive year.