By Emma Kakololo WINDHOEK MINISTER of Information and Broadcasting Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah yesterday hailed 2005 as being the year of women advancement. She was speaking at the inauguration of the boards of directors for the State-owned media, the Namibian Press Agency (Nampa) and New Era Publications Corporation. The terms of office of the boards of both Nampa and New Era expired on November 28 and 30, 2005 respectively. The former Women Affairs and Child Welfare Minister, Nandi-Ndaitwah could hardly hide her contentment when she announced the gender balanced boards. Put together, the boards consist of 10 members with a women percentage of 60, compared to their male counterpart of only 40 percent. “In Namibia, we have a woman Deputy Prime Minister, in Zimbabwe, Zanu-PF has a woman Vice President, in Oukwanyama there is a Queen and to crown it all in Liberia and Germany, a woman President and Chancellor have been elected respectively. I am happy to inaugurate boards with a gender balance in terms of membership and leadership,” she stated. “What is more gratifying is that these boards are served by women and men of high calibre and I have no doubt in my mind that they will be able to serve this nation with integrity,” she said. Nandi-Ndaitwah said the reason why Government was putting up parastatals was to relieve its budget. However this was not the case as these companies continue to ask for more money from Government. She urged the new boards to be proactive and work out strategies to make their institutions viable. With regards to New Era, all former members have been re-appointed with the exception of the former NBC Director General Gerry Munyama, who has been replaced by Katrina Sikeni, Public Relations Officer at the University of Namibia. The re-appointments are: Chairman, Vilbard Usiku, the Employment Equity Commissioner; Sirkka Ausiku, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare; Ndapewa Shifiona, a lecturer at Unam’s Northern Campus; and Milton ya Otto, a teacher from the Khomas Region. Members of Nampa board are Maureen Hinda, an accountant (Chairperson); Advocate Gervasius Ndauendapo; Dr Victor Tonchi, a political scientist; Hilda Basson-Namundjebo of PricewaterhouseCoopers and Emma Haihambo. Both boards will serve five-year terms.
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