Namibia and Zimbabwe revisiting their MoU on media co-operation

Namibia and Zimbabwe ministries of information representatives met in Windhoek to reassess the 2004 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aiming to implement several aspects and bring it up to date with the prevailing developments, digitalisation, for instance. 

Both countries signed the memorandum more than a decade in areas of broadcasting, print, news agencies, filmmaking and cultural exchange, among others. Although many aspects were meant to be addressed, only ‘The Southern Times’ newspaper was a concrete outcome. 

“We signed this memorandum of understanding in 2004 and that’s now a whole 13 years ago and a lot has changed. It was a very broad based generic kind of MoU but there has been a lot of changes since 2004. We are now trying to effect those changes to make it a living document,” said George Charamba the Information, Media and Broadcasting Services permanent secretary of the Zimbabwean delegation. 

On his part, Namibia’s Information and Communication Technology permanent secretary, Mbeuta Ua-Ndjarakana said he was happy with the partnership between Zimpapers and New Era Publication Corporation that gave birth to Namzim Newspapers, the publishers of the regional weekly, The Southern Times.

The two ministries will look at several aspects that are in the memorandum of understanding but are yet to be implemented. They will review all the aspects and decide which ones are still capable of being endorsed and which ones are better left out. The two parties are looking at incorporating new aspects in the memorandum of understanding especially in the area of digitalisation and broadcasting.

Charamba said he was aware that they are in a sector which is undergoing a lot of technological changes. He added that there was need for them to systematically digest all those changes, integrate them in the subsector and see how best they could ride on those technological changes to serve the people.

“We want to test our own systems and see how well we have absorbed technology integration, whether there is a need for further investments, adjustments, legal adjustments or even in terms corporate structures.” He, however, said a lot still has to be done and that there was a need to review the 2004 agreement to incorporate modern day technology. He was hoping that the series of meeting would bring about the right changes.

The two ministries also want to see some high level partnership between the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) and the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC).