WINDHOEK: The two-day Access to Information (ACTION) Namibia coalition conference ended in the capital on Wednesday.
The conference, which was aimed at creating an appreciation amongst Namibians for the need for Access to Information (ATI) legislation, ended with recommendations made with regards to strategies that could be adopted in the drafting of a campaign for ATI legislation.
It was also intended to create appreciation for the fact that ATI is a fundamental human right and an enabling right which facilitates the realisation of all other rights.
The conference was held under the theme ‘Towards Greater Transparency’ and preceded by a breakfast meeting of Namibian editors and media managers, as well as a training workshop on ATI for senior journalists.
A media statement availed to Nampa by the ACTION Secretariat on Friday said the recommendations included involving the Namibian Government in the campaign for the ATI legislation, identifying and using influential parliamentarians to push the campaign agenda, and keeping the publicity and lobbying momentum constant so as to maintain pressure on the need for such a legislation.
Recommendations also included identifying key issues to be reflected in the proposed Bill and ensuring civil societies’ buy-in and utilising various modes of the media to disseminate the message.
The conference also discussed that using an Africa-wide coalition and other African and international assistance from countries where progressive ATI legislation is in place would provide the opportunity needed to capitalise on the campaign.
Establishing a core coalition within the country that would drive and finance the process, as well as using influential lawmakers and Parliamentarians that include high level public servants to popularise the ATI legislation is also another opportunity needed to capitalise on the campaign.
Delegates in attendance at the conference ranged from prominent ATI advocates from across Africa, various sectors of the Namibian society, as well as ordinary members of society such as Kalkrand resident James Hansen.
Hansen walked from Kalkrand to Windhoek with a wooden cross on 20 July 2012 to draw attention to alleged corruption at the Kalkrand Village Council.
The ACTION Namibia Coalition, the Editors’ Forum of Namibia, the Office of the Media Ombudsman of Namibia and the Namibian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) jointly co-ordinated the training workshop.