Friday, November 04, 2011
Friday, 04 November 2011 00:00
ZIMBABWE and Namibia's information officials met in Harare yesterday and discussed co-operation in broadcasting and the print media. In broadcasting, they looked at the digitilisation programme, prospects of Zimbabwe benefiting from the undersea cable that Namibia is developing as well as content development.
In print media, they reviewed co-operation in NamZim, a joint venture through which the Southern Times is published. Officials from Trans Media, Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Media Commission, Zimpapers and Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation attended the meeting with their Namibian counterparts.
Officially opening the meeting, Media, Information and Publicity Minister Webster Shamu said the meeting was a follow-up on issues raised at the last meeting held in Namibia in 2009 when he visited that country together with officials from his ministry.
These included development and harmonisation of policies and capacity development with a view to protecting the interests of the two countries.
He noted that the two countries shared a similar history as they were both born out of arduous liberation struggles.
In those struggles the people of Namibia and Zimbabwe stood shoulder to shoulder to free their countries and today they were doing the same in various fields.
Namibia's Minister of Information and Communication Technology Mr Joel Kaapanda also recalled that the two countries had stood together against all odds and continued to support each other.
They went to the Democratic Republic of Congo together and fought to liberate the whole country, paving way for democratic negotiations that brought peace and stability.
"Of course we were blamed and ostracised that we had acted as hegemonistic states that wanted to occupy that country. We did not occupy it but brought peace.
"Nobody wants to acknowledge this.
"DRC is what it is today because of the contribution of Zimbabwe, Namibia and Angola."
He said his visit was meant to cement relations between the two countries, to concretise political relations into economic and technical co-operation.
He said the two ministries had a role to play in attaining Millennium Development Goals. The two countries had discussed critical issues that put them on a serious development path.
He wanted to see the two countries exchange skills, develop relevant content, develop their capacities and move together in the process of digitilisation.
He was keen to see Zimbabwe benefiting from the undersea cable. Namibia was already co-operating with Botswana and wanted other hinterlands like Zimbabwe and Zambia to benefit from the excess capacity that Namibia has.
An official who attended a closed session said they also discussed liberalisation of airwaves and community broadcasting.
The official said they looked at the possibility of training programmes and exchange of skills between the two countries. Minister Kaapanda arrived in the country on Wednesday and has held several meetings with Government officials.