“Radio and Resilience in the COVID 19 Era.”- Statement by Mr Teboho Tsilane (UNESCO Secretary General)

Opening Remarks by The Lesotho National Commission for UNESCO’s Secretary General, Mr Teboho Tsilane Opening Remarks by The Lesotho National Commission for UNESCO’s Secretary General, Mr Teboho Tsilane

Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen;

I have the pleasure and an honour to welcome you on this important occasion which marks the commemoration of the World Radio Day in this country. I presume that you are all aware that the world at large celebrated this day on the 13th of this month in alignment with the UNESCO’s Director General’s message which was relayed on the same day. However, for various compelling factors and circumstances, the Lesotho National Commission for UNESCO in collaboration with the Media Institute of Southern Africa-Lesotho (MISA-Lesotho) resolved to celebrate this day today.

This year’s celebration of the Radio Day is based on the theme, “New World, New Radio” with sub-themes “Evolution, Innovation and Connection.” The former and the latter underscore the evolutionary nature and resilience of radio overtime.  Hence, here in Lesotho, we resolved to celebrate this day under the theme “Radio and Resilience in the COVID 19 Era.” In solidarity with the rest of the world, we acknowledge the fact that radio plays a pivotal role in our daily lives. The majority of the Basotho population wake up in the morning, thrives through the day and go to sleep at night being serviced with important information and education on diverse local, regional and international issues. Amidst all media provisions, learners across the globe, especially in remote and disadvantaged communities, bear testimony to the invaluable role the radio has played and continues to play for the realization of their educational dreams and aspirations. It is in this light that we unwaveringly declare the radio’s indispensability now in the COVID 19 era, which experience has shown that it is a pandemic that has no respect for class, status, ethnicity and race. Therefore, in concord with the global community, we deem that its significance in our daily lives cannot be overemphasized.

At this juncture, I feel inclined to warmly express my greatest gratitude and appreciation to the organizers of this event, all of you gathered here, those virtually with us, and others who are with us in spirit, to celebrate this day with the dignity and integrity it deserves.

With these words, I declare the occasion officially opened.

Khotso, Pula, Nala.

About MISA Lesotho

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Lesotho was founded in 1996. Its work focuses on promoting, and advocating for, the unhindered enjoyment of freedom of expression, access to information and a free, independent, diverse and pluralistic media.