12.07.2019 - UNESCO Office in Harare

Zim media commits to enhance coverage of Sustainable Development Goals

Media practitioners in Zimbabwe have reaffirmed their pledge to increase coverage of the global sustainable development goals in partnership with the United Nations, emphasising mostly on climate change, good governance, human rights and gender equality issues.

The journalists said this during a UN Zimbabwe-organised media training workshop held in Masvingo, Zimbabwe from 7-10 July 2019. Representatives from the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services; United Nations Communications Group (UNCG); Embassy of Sweden and journalists and editors from various media houses attended the workshop.

The workshop enhanced the media’s understanding of the UN engagement with the Government and other partners in Zimbabwe on development and humanitarian issues. It included visits to UN supported development and humanitarian projects in the area.

The workshop participants underlined the need for Government, UN, Development Partners and the Media to work together to:

  • advance good governance and human rights by intensifying coverage of anti-corruption cases and topics of transparency, accountability and quality of public services;
  • climate action to enhance disaster risk reduction to address recurrent natural disasters such as droughts and floods; and
  • promote gender equality particularly by combating gender-based violence, child marriages, and teenage pregnancy.

The United Nations recognizes the critical role of the media and freedom of information in advancing development. In this regard, the three-day UN-media workshop highlighted the need for the media in Zimbabwe to be capacitated to report on good governance, human rights, climate action and gender equality. It was agreed that media houses and journalists as information gatekeepers will follow up on SDGs progress in Zimbabwe, national policies and their implementation, enhancing accountability, transparency and delivery of public service.

Addressing the workshop participants, UN Resident Coordinator Mr Bishow Parajuli stressed the need to pull together to advance the inherent goodness of human values as Zimbabwe strives to turn around the socio-economic challenges, climate action, drought and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Engaging with the media is fundamental and partnership with the media is crucial to achieve development.  The UN remains open to dialogue with the media and to feedback on the UN’s delivery and performance.”

In a speech read on his behalf, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services,  Mr Nick Mangwana highlighted the importance of the partnership between the UN and government of Zimbabwe towards the development of the country. He commended development partners for their work in disaster situations particularly during the national crisis caused by Cyclone Idai.

Turning to access to information and press freedom, Mr. Mangwana said the Government was reviewing current media laws.

“The Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) will be replaced by three progressive Acts, which are: the Freedom of Information Bill, the Zimbabwe Media Commission Bill and the Protection of Personal Information/Data Protection Bill. For the first time, Zimbabwe will also have a Media and Film Policy to guide its operations,” he said.

Speaking at the same occasion, First Secretary at the Embassy of Sweden, Ms. Angelica Broman said, “to enhance economic growth in Zimbabwe more efforts have to be put into ensuring gender equality and to eliminate gender-based violence”.

UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa attended the workshop as part of the UN Communication Group in Zimbabwe.

For more information, please contact: i.tagwireyi(at)unesco.org.




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