Africa ICT Ministers’ Forum kicks off in Windhoek

The Africa ICT Ministers’ Forum kicked off in Windhoek, Namibia on 4 November 2021. Officially opening the’ Forum, Namibia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah said media freedom and access to information are important pillars for sustainable development.

She said that these pillars are fundamental international human rights as per the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights. The Deputy Prime Minister added that it is not just the access that needs to be improved, but also the seeking, gathering and dissemination of such information should be free and guaranteed.

The public uses especially government information to make key decisions and also to give responsible criticism that would have positive undertakings on the general governance of the country.

Speaking at the same occasion, Namibia’s ICT Minister Peya Mushelenga described the media as key stakeholders in information dissemination and public education necessary for participatory democracy.

UNESCO’s Assistant Director General for Communication and Information Tawfik Jelassi corroborated Mushelenga’s sentiments by underscoring that strengthening access to information is necessary for peace and sustainable development.

The one-day forum is a follow-up event to the global Windhoek+30 Declaration that has various African ICT Ministers galvanising the said declaration and highlighting the relevance of ‘Information as a Public Good’.