Creating awareness of the Constitution

The Namibia Scientific Society last week received the Namibian Constitution in Braille from the Namibia Federation for the Visually Impaired in Windhoek.

Claudia Gossow, a programme manager at the Konrad-Adenauer Stiftung, said the handover was also part of the campaign to raise awareness of the Namibian Constitution in various formats.

“It’s a partnership between the Konrad-Adenauer Stiftung and the National Disability Forum, and a celebration of access to the Constitution in other formats, such as in Braille, Oshiwambo and Otjiherero.

“We can now also access the Constitution on a mobile app,” she said.
Namibia Scientific Society chief executive officer Ruth Moldizo said the Constitution is the foundation of democracy and having access to it is paramount.

“We have been busy with translations since 1995 and it is great to see how the translations have filled up the shelf,” she said.

Moldizo said since its inception, they have published catalogues of over 50 000 titles and videos, including magazines, books, maps, pictures and various editions of the Namibian Constitution.

“As of 2018, the Constitution was available in Oshiwambo and Otjiherero. This means more Namibians have access to the Constitution,” she said.

The Namibia Scientific Society launched a mobile application last year during the National Disability Conference to further raise awareness on the Constitution in digital format.

Konrad Adenauer Stiftung resident representative Natalie Russmann said the Constitution document creates a benchmark to all acts and policies in Namibia.

“It’s an expression of the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary – the separation of powers and the provision of services. So, it’s really a a crucial document we can all be proud of. The Namibian Constitution affects each and everyone in Namibia,” she said.

Russmann said there is also no reason to stop distributing and advertising this Constitution in all different languages.

“In this era of digitalisation, it is also another awareness campaign which allows another way of accessibility to the Constitution.

Namibia is a very young country. Somehow, we also have to adapt to our way of communicating and sending messages and also a way of educating and engaging,” she said.

Russman said to get the youth interested, mediums of communication such as the internet should be used as it speaks to the youth.

Namibian Federation director of the Visually Impaired Moses Nghipandulwa said they are grateful, as they can now know about their rights.

“The Namibian Constitution says people should not be discriminated against based on their disability, so the information must be the same for every citizen. We are really happy and still urging the information to be accessible not only for the visually impaired person, but also for hearing impaired persons,” he said.

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