02.03.2018 - UNESCO Office in Harare

IFAP strategic workshop prioritises information accessibility for Zimbabwe

In partnership with the Zimbabwe National Commission to UNESCO, the UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa (ROSA) hosted a strategic planning workshop aimed at setting the mandate and priorities for the Zimbabwe Information for all Programme (IFAP) National Committee in preparation for the committee’s launch. The workshop was held on 28th February 2018 in Harare.

Contextualizing the IFAP goals to Zimbabwe’s needs and based on regional experiences from other countries such as South Africa, the participants agreed on accessibility of quality and relevant information as the priority for the National Committee when it is established.

Access to information will entail ensuring the right information is made available and affordable to all including marginalized groups especially people living with disabilities, people in the rural areas, women and minority languages.

In his keynote address at the workshop, Principal Director in the Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services, Mr. R.C Chikowore stressed the importance of making information accessible and available. He affirmed that “information gathering, accessibility and dissemination is key to development.  People need the relevant information to be able to make proper decisions and the information has to be availed using the necessary technologies”.

Speaking on behalf of the Regional Director and Representative of UNESCO ROSA, Prof. Hubert Gijzen, the Regional Communication and Information Advisor Mr. Hezekiel Dlamini, said it has been widely accepted that access to information plays a major role in building knowledge societies that are needed to drive development efforts in the digital world that we live in today.

The National IFAP Committee will provide active leadership in the IFAP priority areas, namely information literacy, information preservation, information ethics, information for development, information accessibility and multilingualism in cyberspace.

The work of the National IFAP Committee will “change lives and standards of living of Zimbabweans through the provision of information that promote development, using the relevant knowledge, skills and attitudes for socio-economic development”, said Ms. Margaret Chirapa, Secretary General for the Zimbabwe National Commission for UNESCO.

As the first steps towards the creation of the IFAP Committee have been taken, the Committee Members committed to work on the next actions that will lead to the launch of the IFAP National Committee for Zimbabwe. 

The meeting which was chaired by the Ministry of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services was attended by strategic stakeholderssuch as representatives of the Ministry of Information Communication Technology and Cyber Security, the National Archives of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Library Association, the National University of Science and Technology (NUST), Midlands State University (MSU), Great Zimbabwe University (GZU), the Harare Polytechnic College and the Zimbabwe Film and Television School of Southern Africa, among others.

For more information contact: h.dlamini(at)unesco.org or i.tagwireyi(at)unesco.org

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