By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK The first edition of the Pan Afrikan Centre (Pacon) of Namibia’s long-awaited monthly magazine, Afro Voice has just been published. The publication is an important mouthpiece of the organization whose inception is 2002. “We consider the publication a milestone achievement for our ongoing activities and an important vehicle for public debate in general and in particular to the Namibian youth,” said the chairman of Pacon, Johannes Tjitjo. A total of 2 000 copies have been printed and the magazine is available at Pacon’s offices and from executive members. “We don’t intend competing with existing publications of this nature, but wish to provide an alternative platform for political, social, economic and cultural debate and discussions within our communities. For commemorative reasons the first edition is free of charge, but subsequent editions will be sold at a minimum sales fee to allow most Namibians access to the magazine,” said Tjitjo. The magazine has been in the planning stages for some time and became a reality last month with Pacon board member Andre Strauss as editor. “The magazine is run by an editorial board of three members. The first edition consists of 36 pages, but we are already planning for the next one, which we intend expanding on as we go along. We will feature many interesting articles and discussions of common interest to our readers as well as the wider public,” said editor Strauss. Afro Voice will be distributed nationally and internationally to other Pan-African centres. “We need to build better and solid relationships with other centres on the African continent and in the diaspora, sharing in our philosophies and Pan-African ideologies. This magazine offers that unique opportunity, something I am proud of. In actual fact, we see the magazine as a mechanism to communicate with the Namibian and African youth especially in education and politics,” said Tjitjo. According to Strauss, the magazine is printed from Pacon’s own funds and a grant from the Namibian government. “Naturally we will start expanding our business operations into the local advertising market for the magazine to eventually pay for itself. For the time being we also invite articles from the general public for publication consideration in the next edition, which will appear in March next year. We will for the first year bring it out on a quarterly basis. I am optimistic that the magazine will help Namibians to move away from the existing Afro-pessimism to Afro-optimism,” said Strauss.
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