MICT to host symposium for World Press Freedom Day

03 May 2019 15:40pm
WINDHOEK, 03 MAY (NAMPA) – The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology will next week host a symposium to mark World Press Freedom Day which is celebrated on 03 May annually.
Ranked as the country with the freest press in Africa, Namibia will join the rest of the world in celebrating the day under the theme ‘The role of the media in elections and democracy.’
Last year, Namibia lost the top position to Ghana, but the latest 2019 World Press Freedom Index has restored the country's dominance as leader in press freedom.
A media statement issued by the ministry on Thursday said the symposium is slated for 07 May at the Namibia University of Science and Technology and is open to the public.
It will focus on sub-themes such as how the digital era is affecting electoral communications, new attempts to undermine the media’s role in democracy and the media’s potential to contribute to a culture of sustainable peace and democracy.
“This day will provide a platform to assess the state of press freedom throughout the world and celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom while defending the media from attacks on their independence, as well as pay tribute to journalists who lost their lives in the line of duty,” the statement further explained.
The statement further said that being the fourth estate of government, the media continues to be a key partner in enhancing democracy and promoting the socio-economic well-being of Namibians.
It further reiterated the Namibian Government’s intention to safeguard press freedom.
“The Namibian Constitution provides for freedom of the press as enshrined in Chapter 3, article 21 which states that ‘All person shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression which shall include freedom of press and other media’,” it said.
The day was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in December 1993.