World Press Freedom: Namibia, Cape Verde Beat US, UK

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By Obioma C. Appolos

With two of the world’s largest broadcasting outlets (CNN and the BBC) domiciled in the United States of America and the United Kingdom, one would ordinarily think that these two countries with their tall democratic credentials, would always lead the way in the World PressFreedom Index.

According to the widely reported 2019 PressFreedom Index, released on May 3, not only did these two giant countries, which other democratic nations look up to for guidance on fundamental human rights, failed to lead the index, they couldn’t even make the top 10 and top 20 on the list.

Interestingly, the US and the UK were beaten by two unlikely countries on the African continent, where issues of human rights abuses and weak democratic institutions are rife: Namibia, Cape Verde, as well as Ghana who took 23rd, 25th and 27 positions respectively.

Pertinently, there appears to be hope that, African nations may one day lead the rest of the world in global best practices on matters of good governance; thereby making the world a better place.

While Norway, Finland, Sweden, Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland, New Zealand, Jamaica, Belgium and Costa Rica respectively, topped the list of 10 best countries in the world to practise journalism, Turkmenistan, North Korea, Eritrea, China, Vietnam, Sudan, Syria, Djibouti, Saudi Arabia, Laos respectively occupied the infamous positions of world’s worst countries of press freedom.

Expectedly, Nigeria, the supposed ‘big brother’ on the African continent, could not show the way in this key democratic parameter, as she struggles at the bottom with 120th position on list of countries with the worst rating of press freedom.

Apparently, Namibia and Cape Verde have challenged the rest of the African nations especially Nigeria, to up their game in terms of formulating policies that would promote and protect the basic rights of its citizens such as press freedom.

“Freedom of the press or freedom of the media is the principle that communication and expression through various media, including printed and electronic media, especially published materials, should be considered a right to be exercised freely.” – Wikipedia.com

Yearly, an index on how good or bad countries stand on the press freedom practice is being released to the general public, which is aimed at encouraging governments across the world to pursue press freedom policies and maintain good image by allowing the press to practise freely.

How they stand: full list.

1:Norway, 2: Finland, 3: Sweden, 4: Netherlands, 5: Denmark, 6: Switzerland, 7: New Zealand, 8: Jamaica, 9: Belgium, 10: Costa Rica, 11: Estonia, 12: Portugal, 13: Germany, 14: Iceland, 15: Ireland, 16: Austria, 17: Luxembourg, 18: Canada, 19: Uruguay, 20: Surinam, 21: Australia, 22: Samoa, 23: Namibia, 24: Latvia, 25: Cape Verde, 26: Liechtenstein, 27: Ghana, 28: Cyprus, 29: Spain,

30: Lithuania, 31: South Africa, 32: France, 33: United Kingdom, 34: Slovenia, 35: Slovakia, 36: Burkina Faso, 37: Andorra, 38: Papua New Guinea, 39: Trinidad and Tobago, 40: Czech Republic, 41: South Korea, 42: Taiwan, 43: Italy, 44: Botswana, 45: Tonga, 46: Chile, 47: Romania, 48: United States, 49: Senegal,

50: OECS, 51: Guyana, 52: Fiji, 53: Belize, 54: Madagascar, 55: Dominican Republic, 56: Comoros, 57: Argentina, 58: Mauritius, 59: Poland, 60: Georgia, 61: Armenia, 62: Haiti, 63: Bosnia-Herzegovina, 64: Croatia, 65: Greece, 66: Niger, 67: Japan, 68: Malawi, 69: Seychelles, 70: Mongolia, 71: Côte d’Ivoire, 72: Tunisia, 73: Hong Kong, 74: Northern Cyprus, 75: Kosovo, 76: Togo, 77: Malta, 78: Lesotho, 79: Panama.

80: Bhutan, 81: El Salvador, 82: Albania, 83: Kyrgyzstan, 84: Timor-Leste, 85: Peru, 86: Sierra Leone, 87: Hungary, 88: Israel, 89: Guinea Bissau, 90: Serbia, 91: Moldova, 92: Gambia, 93: Liberia, 94: Mauritania, 95: Republic of North Macedonia, 96: Benin, 97: Ecuador, 98: Maldives, 99: Paraguay.

100: Kenya, 101: Lebanon, 102: Ukraine, 103: Mozambique, 104 Montenegro, 105: Brazil, 106: Nepal, 107: Guinea, 108: Kuwait, 109: Angola, 110: Ethiopia, 111: Bulgaria, 112: Mali, 113: Bolivia, 114: Nicaragua, 115: Gabon, 116: Guatemala, 117: Congo-Brazzaville, 118: Tanzania, 119: Zambia.

120: Nigeria, 121:Afghanistan, 122 Chad, 123: Malaysia, 124: Indonesia, 125: Uganda, 126: Sri Lanka, 127: Zimbabwe, 128: Qatar, 129: Colombia, 130: Jordan, 131: Cameroon: 132: Oman, 133: United Arab Emirates, 134: Philippines, 135:Morocco /Western Sahara, 136: Thailand, 137: Palestine, 138: Myanmar, 139: South Sudan.

140: India 141: Algeria,142: Pakistan, 143: Cambodia, 144: Mexico, 145: Central African Republic, 146:Honduras, 147: eSwatini, 149: Russia, 148: Venezuela,150: Bangladesh,151: Singapore, 152: Brune, 153: Belarus, 154: Congo DR, 155: Rwanda, 156: Iraq, 157: Turkey, 158: Kazakhstan, 159: Burundi.

160: Uzbekistan, 161 : Tajikistan, 162: Libya, 163:Egypt, 164: Somalia. 165: Equatorial Guinea, 166: Azerbaijan, 167: Bahrain, 168: Yemen, 169: Cuba, 170: Iran, 171: Laos, 172: Saudi Arabia, 173: Djibouti, 174: Syria. 175: Sudan, 176: Vietnam, 177: China, 178: Eritrea, 179: North Korea,180: Turkmenistan.

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