05.08.2011 - UNESCO

Towards a more sustainable community broadcasting sector in Namibia

UNESCO, in partnership with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung-Africa (Fesmedia Africa), the Media Institute for Southern Africa - Namibia Chapter and the United States Embassy, is organizing a meeting on Namibia’s community radio broadcasting sector in Windhoek on 11 and 12 August 2011.

Community radio representatives will participate in the meeting together with the Communications Regulatory Authority Namibia (CRAN), the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters - African Chapter (AMARC), the Commonwealth of Learning, the University of Namibia (UNAM), the Polytechnic of Namibia (PON), the Namibian College of Open Learning (NAMCOL) and other relevant stakeholders.

The first day’s closed session will introduce findings of the “Community Broadcasting Sustainability Study”, commissioned by Fesmedia Africa to explore emerging issues to make the community media sector more sustainable.

The discussion on the second day will focus on the revival of the Namibian Community Radios’ Network in the presence of representatives of all recognized community radio and television stations operating in Namibia. Key stakeholders will participate in the discussions to validate existing reference documents and identify activities and strategies for re-launching the Network.

This initiative seeks to promote stronger partnership, collaboration and harmonization among community radio broadcasters, in order to improve the quality of the programmes, to enhance professional skills and capacities and thereby make a greater contribution towards Namibia’s goal of becoming a knowledge-driven economy. Furthermore, the initiative aims at increasing the social impact of community radio to achieve social, economic and cultural development objectives, given the relevant role played by community radios in promoting human development, good governance, social justice, empowerment of women and human rights.

The workshop brings together development partners such as the Media Ombudsman, the United Nation Information Center (UNIC), the Namibia Institute for Democracy (NID) and the Media and Training Center for Health (MTCH) among others, which stand ready to support the community media sector, and recognize the important role that community media can play to ensure pluralism and diversity, and serve as a platform for democratic discourse.

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