The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in the area of communication and information technology (ICT).
UNESCO Head of Office and Representative to Namibia, Dr Jean Pierre Ilboudo, and Chief Executive Officer of CRAN, Festus Mbandeka signed the MoU recently. It aims to establish a framework for co-operation between the two parties in areas such as the regulation of the code of conduct for broadcasting services, promotion of community broadcasting services in Namibia including the development of local content and audience research.
The MoU also lays out the programme that the two organisations will collaborate on, enabling and monitoring sector reform with respect to cyber security, convergence, Internet-of-Things and over-the-top services as well as artificial intelligence.
Addressing the stakeholders during the MoU signing ceremony held last Monday at the UN House, UNESCO pledged to work together with CRAN to boost the country’s ICT sector, especially the broadcasting services.
“Community radios are an independent vehicle for sharing the stories and experiences of communities. They facilitate dialogue to shape knowledge-driven societies. The sector offers an affordable means of communication to marginalised, rural and isolated communities, fosters social inclusion, inspires creative cultural expressions and enforces democratic values that invite equal participation in shaping public opinion,” Ilboudo said.
He described the MoU as the formalisation of a collaboration that began a long time ago and has proceeded smoothly and fruitfully between the two organisations.
He said UNESCO would continue to work to further strengthen partnerships with public and private sector organisations with the aim to support developing countries such as Namibia to implement development initiatives and activities contributing to peace.