Ms. Gwen Lister, the Chairperson of the Namibia Media Trust (NMT) has called on the High Commissioner of Ghana to Namibia, Alhaji Abdul-Rahman Harruna Attah. She delivered the keynote address at the just ended World Press Freedom Day (WPFD 2016) forum in Helsinki, Finland.
She was founding editor of “The Namibian” newspaper in 1985, and also chaired the UNESCO Seminar which adopted the Windhoek Declaration on Promoting Independent and Pluralistic Media in 1991, which led to the UN adopting May 3 every year as the World Press Freedom Day.
The Namibia Media Trust publishes The Namibian, one of the leading dailies in the country. Ms Lister discussed with the High Commissioner issues relating to freedom of expression and access to information, the theme of WPFD 2016. The High Commissioner presented her a copy of the message from President Mahama to WPFD 2016.
In her keynote she announced a “Free Speech for Africa Award” saying: “With undeniable setbacks in free expression globally, at times in the most unexpected places, our collective efforts as defenders of this fundamental right become increasingly important. For this reason, the Namibian Media Trust, which I Chair, today recommits itself to this critical task by initiating The Free Speech for Africa Award to inspire voices on the continent to speak up against social, economic, and political injustice.” The Award, she explained to the High Commissioner, would not be restricted to journalists or media people alone but to any ideas, actions, deeds that clearly “express” creativity and progress.
On the UN Sustainable Development Goals, she said, “For all who believe in journalism, we need to hold governments accountable to their commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), in particular on ‘public access to information and fundamental freedoms’. This is our right and, more importantly, our responsibility.”
President Mahama of Ghana co-chairs the UN Advocacy Group on the SDGs with the Prime Minister of Norway.
Source: GHC, Windhoek