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Capacity building of community media in Namibia through the development of ethical standards for election coverage and fostering community participation

Year when project approved: 
Approved budget: 
US$9 900.00

Namibia is preparing for general elections in 2014. The ruling Swapo Party congress takes place in November 2012 and will be the official launch pad for party (and individual) election campaigns in preparation for the 2014 ballot. Next year, 2013, is therefore a critical pre-election phase for Namibians. Thus, the quality of the national debate will depend on the capacity of Namibians including the marginalised groups such as the rural women and the youth to engage with the political process. This will be through the envisaged civic awareness campaigns and secondly through a process that allows them to articulate their individual and community needs – at all levels – to political parties and individual candidates. In that the community radio is a powerful tool to facilitate communication between communities and policy makers, it has the potential to play a critical role in enhancing active participation of communities in the democratic process.

Radio is one of best means of communication in Namibia. With dozens of stations in various languages across the country, it reaches far more homes than television, internet or telephone. In spite of this, community radio stations have continued to face vast challenges including incapacity to source, develop and package local content. This project will atttempt to address the issue by equipping community broadcasters in Namibia with civic knowledge and professional skills in defining a locally owned code of conduct on election reporting which will facilitate production of well-informed and relevant local content that will effectively inform and engage community members on community and national issues, including elections coverage and monitoring the process.

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Beneficiary name: 
Media Institute of Southern Africa - Namibia Chapter
Beneficiary description: 

Namibia, which stands for the Media Institute of Southern Africa: Namibia, is an organization designed, for all intents and purposes, to promote Namibian rights and responsibilities, as well as tolerance, liberty and happiness. To do this, MISA monitors the media environment through a multitude of avenues, including increasing the number of defamation cases against the media, combatting challenges of media freedom and maintaining a proactive engagement with civil society and government.MISA-Namibia works with institutions, such as the National Society of Human Rights, around issues that have a direct bearing on not only the quality of journalism in the country, but also the freedoms of the media.

As a group, MISA believes that while people have the freedom and right express their views, there are certain responsibilities that go with that freedom. The group also believes that is the right of the people within a society to know how the government officials function and that it is not only the right of the media, but also the responsibility to convey such operations to the general public.

Beneficiary address: 
MISA Namibia, 21 Johann Albrecht Street, Windhoek West, PO Box 97475, Maerua Mall Windhoek, Namibia

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Tel: (+264 61) 232975
Location and contacts
Responsible UNESCO Regional advisers: 

Lydiah Gachungi (l.gachungi@unesco.org)

UNESCO Field Office:

Project contacts: 

Ngamane Karuihe-Upi, Acting National Director (MISA Namibia) (broadcast@misanamibia.org.na)

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