The University of Namibia recently joined the rest of the world in honouring the 30th Anniversary of the Windhoek declaration and World Press Freedom day under the theme “Information as a public good”.
Kick-starting this year’s celebration was the 6th Academic Conference under the auspices of the University of Namibia and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural organisation (UNESCO).
The Academic Conference brought together researchers from eight countries to part their knowledge on the safety of journalists in a bid to strengthen the field of research and ultimately, contribute to a safer environment for journalists.
Officiating at this event was the Minister of Higher Education, Technology and Innovation, Dr Itah Kandjii-Murangi, who pointed out that Namibia takes pride in retaining the top position in Africa.
“We take pride as we continue to maintain the number one position in Africa and 24th in the world in terms of world press freedom day. This proves that Namibia is committed to upholding media freedom and the safety of journalists.
“However, I take note of the issue of impunity of violators of human rights and the atrocities against journalists and I am confident that the discussions of today will bring forth fruitful outcomes that will assist in providing solutions to the global safety of journalists” emphasized Dr Kandjii-Murangi.
Prof. Anicia Peters, UNAM Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Development remarked that UNAM is proud to be associated with this celebration.
“As a University that is committed to academic freedom of speech, when we were approached to be part of this historic event, we gladly obliged because we have a stake in producing media and communication professions” she elaborated.
Guilherme Canela de Souza Godoi, chief of the Freedom of Expression and Safety of Journalists Section at UNESCO mentioned that this conference gives researchers, journalists and policy-makers an opportunity to bridge the gap.
“This conference is an opportunity for researchers to connect with decision-makers and media practitioners to bridge the gap between academic research, the experience of journalists on the ground and policy-makers to support joint efforts to protect journalists and journalism” De Souza Godoi added.