Namibia remains Africa’s freest country for journalists, ranking at number one in the 2020 world press freedom index on the continent.
The country ranked at number 23 globally in the just released world press freedom index by Reporters Without Borders.
The index looks at happenings in various countries around the world in relation to how free journalists and media houses are to operate.
According to Reporters Without Borders, “Press freedom has a firm hold in Namibia, Africa’s best ranked country in RSF’s World Press Freedom Index, and enjoys solid guarantees.”
“It is protected by the constitution and is often defended by the courts when under attack from other quarters within the state or by vested interests,” the report said.
The report also referred to a 2019 ruling by the supreme court “that the government could not use national security as a pretext for preventing the courts from deciding whether the media could reveal certain information.”
Happenings in other African countries
Ghana (30) ranked second in Africa on the index, but dropped three places on the global index from 2019.
The report blamed the drop in global ranking on recent threats to journalists in the West African nation.
It said “A group of investigative journalists had to spend part of 2018 in hiding after producing a documentary about Ghanaian soccer corruption.
A ruling party parliamentarian who had been named in the documentary publicly threatened one of the journalists without ever being arrested or questioned.
The journalist was shot dead in the street a few months later. The investigation announced by the authorities has ground to a halt.
Investigative reporters are often threatened even if journalists are rarely arrested.”
Ghana has however recently adopted “A law on access to state-held information,” 20 years after it was “first introduced in parliament.”
South Africa (31) ranked third in Africa followed by Burkina Faso (38) and Senegal (47) as fourth and five respectively in Africa.
Eritrea remains the dangerous place for journalists in Africa ranking 178 out of 180 in the world.
Norway , Finland, Denmark, Sweden and Netherlands are the top five countries where journalists operate with significant freedom globally.