Improving access to information by Okanguati community in Namibia
UNESCO, the Namibian Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) and New Era (a daily national newspaper owned by the government of Namibia) have joint forces to enhance access to information by the Okanguati community, situated in a remote rural area of Kunene region.
PDF versions of the New Era daily will be made available at the Okanguati Multi-Purpose Community Centre (MPCC) and at the school's library. This will enable the community to benefit from up-to-date information, which was arriving to Okanguati with one month-delay before.
First of its kind, this UNESCO initiative has been greatly appreciated by the members of the Okanguati community, who received the first copies of the newspaper last January. Other remote areas are now being considered for similar projects.
The Okanguati Multi-Purpose Community Centre was established by the government of the Republic of Namibia, through the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, in 2007. By doing so the government aimed at making ICT accessible to all citizens, especially in rural areas. For this purpose, it donated ICT equipment to some rural areas, including Okanguati.
New Era, in cooperation with MICT and UNESCO, is now working on other initiatives, involving training of young people in rural areas on photography and reporting, with the goal to enable them to generate news on topics of interest for their communities.
UNESCO will continue its cooperation with Namibian print and broadcast media in order to enhance access to knowledge in remote and rural areas, which lack constant and reliable sources of information. It will also assist the country to move towards a knowledge-based economy, particularly focusing on media and information literacy, which is the basis of the current initiative and the area of concern for MICT.
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