KEETMANSHOOP, 18 SEP (NAMPA) -
The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) established a //Karas regional pride forum here on Thursday at the end of a two-day workshop on the Nationhood and National Pride Campaign.
Forums have already been established in the Hardap, Zambezi, Otjozondjupa, Ohangwena, Erongo and Kunene regions. The campaign, aimed at promoting national pride and patriotism, was launched by former President Hifikepunye Pohamba in 2011.
MICT campaigns manager Shasimana Uugulu said the main focus areas of the campaign was to promote unity in diversity and to denounce tribalism; racism; vandalism of public property; lack of respect for State symbols; and alcohol and drug misuse.
"We want to find community-based solutions to do away with these petty issues that hold us back and keep us divided," he said.
Uugulu explained that the campaign wants to contribute to President Hage Geingob's policy of inclusivity in the interest of the ultimate national dream of a prosperous Vision 2030.
"Children are not born racist or tribalist, so we want to do away with these petty issues by encouraging families to raise their children in a manner to respect others and embrace cultural diversity," he said.
Uugulu noted that items like traditional costumes, food, music and art are the enhancers of social identity that could bridge barriers and create national pride.
During the workshop, the //Karas forum identified several activities it wants to implement with young people in promoting the campaign. These include a song competition, clean-up campaigns, a debate and the production of television profiles on everyday heroes in the region to instil a sense of pride. The latter will be done in conjunction with the MICT regional office, the group decided.
Uugulu said each forum will get a budget - yet to be determined - in the execution of activities. The forum consists of representatives from various ministries, non-governmental organisations and regional and local authorities.
The forum will be managed and represented by a smaller technical working group of about 11 people, who are tasked with the administrative duties of the forum's activities.
Uugulu said overall, the ministries of information, gender, youth, tourism and education are tasked with the implementation of the national campaign. He said the regional forums will be launched from October onwards.