“Radio must remain an authentic source of information, reporting on facts and matters that contribute to nation”- Mushelenga
The Minister of Information and Communication Technology (MICT), Dr. Peya Mushelenga, joined the rest of the world in observing and celebrating the 12th edition of World Radio Day under the theme “Radio and Peace” on 13 February.
According to the minister, radio is a bridge toward strengthening democracy, which provides the foundation for sustainable peace and stability in all parts of the world. “Radio must remain an authentic source of information, reporting on facts and matters that contribute to nation building as H.E. the President always emphasises.”
Delivering the keynote address on behalf of the Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Deputy Minister of Information Emma Theofelus, on Monday, stated that having been around longer than any other broadcast media, radio plays a pivotal role in peace-building and unity in unprecedented times such as war, conflict, violence, and pandemics.
Speaking on occasion, she added: “Radio informs, transforms, and unites us. It serves as a bridge that links all societies together without the limitation of borders or geographical settings.”
She also said that this year, UNESCO highlights independent radio as a pillar of conflict prevention and peacebuilding by carrying the media narrative in reporting and informing the public.
“Using radio as a medium of communication places us at a competitive advantage because of its wide and unlimited reach. For example, radio in Namibia is accessible in all local languages thus ensuring that all citizens have equal access to information.”
Accordingly, this has been achieved through government and stakeholder engagement (public, private, and community radio stations) in assuring that Namibia remains on par with the rest of the developed nations worldwide.
The Deputy Minister of Information noted that radio is the ideal medium for resolving conflicts by fostering mutual understanding and exposing oneself to other points of view. On the other hand, she said, radio can also serve as a tool to create tension and animosities among citizens.
“Hence the need for all radio personalities and the public to use radio as a medium of communication wisely in a manner that informs, educate and entertains our communities, particularly on issues related to developmental projects, policies, and programmes.”
On Nov 3, 2011, UNESCO declared 13 February as World Radio Day because on this day United Nations Radio was first established in 1946. It is observed to preserve the importance of radio, increase awareness, and encourage decision-makers to provide access to information through radio.
Therefore, the minister urged radio personalities to continue with the sterling work they do while remaining knowledgeable, mainly to impart information to the public and carry their job with integrity.
Meanwhile, the ministry revealed that they are also finalizing the Community Media Policy Framework, which they said will strengthen the development of community media in the country, especially community radios, which by extension will empower communities at the grassroots level in terms of access to information.
“In the face of war, conflict, violence, and diseases, radio remains our only hope to negotiate for peace and reunite with our beloved ones in times of need.”