Participants at the UNESCO-sponsored World Press Freedom Day conference from 3 to 5 May in Windhoek, Namibia issued a new "Windhoek Charter on Broadcasting in Africa," reports ARTICLE 19. The Charter calls for African states to take a number of measures, including the transformation of all state and government controlled broadcasters into public service broadcasters and the introduction of independent regulators. The document also addresses the need to strengthen the independent production sector and introduce more local content through minimum quotas, says ARTICLE 19. The Charter is a culmination of efforts led by a partnership among ARTICLE 19, the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) Africa Section and Southern Africa Communication for Development (SACOD).
Conference participants also called on UNESCO to distribute the Charter and for all African media organisations to use it as their starting point in advocacy for the development of national and regional broadcasting policies, reports ARTICLE 19. Among other outcomes of the conference, a resolution was passed in support of the appointment of a Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression within the African Commission for Human and Peoples' Rights. The complete text of the charter is available at www.article19.org
. [For more information on World Press Freedom Day events in Windhoek, see IFEX "Communique" #10-18