3 May 2018

Namibia: Ministry Pushes for Access to Information Legislation to Better Media Freedom

The government is working tirelessly in collaboration with all stakeholders, to expedite the enactment of the Access to Information Legislation, according to an official.

The Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Hon. Stanley Simataa in a statement this week said that in spite of the country's achievements in advocating for media freedom, more still needs to be done.

Simataa said once enacted this legal framework will consolidate the country's foothold as one of the countries in the world with truly empowered citizens.

"The media has continued to act as a relenting voice of the voiceless in its toil to expose corrupt practices and administrative malpractice, which if not exposed could be detrimental to the growth of society," he said.

The minister said for this role to be fulfilled, the media needs a favorable policy and legal environment, which exist as stipulated in the country's constitution while the government fully subscribes to the Windhoek Declaration.

Meanwhile Simataa said that it is sad that Namibia has lost its position on the African continent as a champion for media freedom in the just released 2018 Press Freedom rankings by the Reporters Without Borders.

"We commit ourselves to objectively analyze the reasons for such a decline and further devise an appropriate intervention strategy with the indulgence of all stakeholders so as to reclaim our number one spot on the continent," he added.

The minister said the country notes the unwavering and unbreakable spirit of journalists despite the challenges they face and the government remains committed to the independence of the media and will not impede their operations.

The World Press Freedom day which is celebrated on 3 May, was born out of recognition of the vital role that journalists and the media in general play towards the upliftment and development of societies the world over.


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