Gruenhagen waves goodbye to Namibia

Freya Gruenhagen

After almost six years in Namibia, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Namibia and Fesmedia Africa director Freya Gruenhagen has left the country to continue her career in Germany.

In a partners engagement and farewell event in Windhoek last week, Gruenhagen said during her term as director there were a number of achievements, though challenges were present.

“Our key success stories include reforming the African Media Barometer (AMB), introducing 41 indicators and initiating the AMB Blog for sustained engagement on relevant issues.”

She said the organisation was also able to start access to information online courses.

“We developed two access to information online courses for government and public officials, civil society and journalists, in partnership with international experts from the Centre for Law and Democracy and the Africa Freedom of Information Centre,” said Gruenhagen.

Speaking on the challenges, Gruenhagen said there were significant budget cuts to Fesmedia.

“Fesmedia Africa has been experiencing budget cuts starting in 2019, and the situation kept deteriorating. This led to an unprecedented shift in the way we work and engage with partners locally and regionally. In some cases, this leaves gaps that we wish we could come back and plug,” said Gruenhagen.

In his keynote address, speaker of parliament Peter Katjavivi said the democracy Namibia now enjoys came at a price of compromise as the Constitution was drafted in three months.

“We were working against the decision of the United Nations (UN) Security Council that we had less than three months to finish drafting the Constitution, to pave the way for an independent Namibia on 21 March 1990,” said Katjavivi.

He added that the late president Hage Geingob was instrumental in the drafting the Constitution, and he made sure to reach out to all political parties to offer their contribution.

Hajo Lanz is the new director of Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Namibia and Fesmedia Africa.

Stay informed with The Namibian – your source for credible journalism. Get in-depth reporting and opinions for only N$85 a month. Invest in journalism, invest in democracy –
Subscribe Now!

Latest News