International Day for Universal Access to Information commemorated

28 Sep 2018 16:30pm
WINDHOEK, 28 SEP (NAMPA) – The European Union (EU) Ambassador to Namibia, Jana Hybaskova has praised the Namibian Government for its efforts to preserve media freedom.
Speaking during the celebration of International Day for Universal Access to Information here on Friday, Hybaskova said there is political will to enhance and improve access to information.
She however said Namibia is vast and sparsely populated, posing a challenge to access information for citizens.
“There is a need for the political will to finance programmes which will allow technical solutions to limited access to information in some parts of the country,” she said.
Hybaskova further appealed to Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC), as the largest mobile operator in the country, and other service providers to extend their services to remote areas to ensure that every citizen has access to information.
She further emphasised the importance of radio broadcasting in disseminating information, saying the majority of people in remote areas easily access information through radio broadcasting.
“It is imperative to have a good network that enables radio operations in remote areas, as radio broadcasting plays an important role in Namibia,” she said.
At the same occasion, Deputy Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Engel Nawatiseb said freedom of expression is one of the fundamental freedoms acknowledged in the Sustainable Development Goals and the Namibian Government therefore guarantees free speech and freedom of expression.
He said the ministry has sensitised all public relations officers within Government of the need for access to information.
“The ministry is committed to being a catalyst for an informed and inclusive ICT-smart Namibia through various initiatives such as increased awareness campaigns for ICT centres and enhancing unhindered access to information by educating people on Government projects, policies and activities,” Nawatiseb said.
International Day for Universal Access to Information is commemorated on 28 September after it was adopted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation in 2015.