Madam Nnenna Nwakanma, the Senior Policy Manager of World Wide Web Foundation, has urged nations to desist from shutting down the internet.
Speaking at the 25th World Press Freedom Day International Conference in Accra, Madam Nwakanma said shutting down the internet by any country drove away potential investors.
She noted that the internet had opened up journalists to a new era of writing.
She said the safety of journalists and freedom of speech were essential for democracy to thrive.
On Ghana’s readiness to pass the Right to Information Bill (RTI), Madam Nwakanma said she would monitor to see how far the nation went with it.
Mr Getachew Engida, the Deputy Director-General, United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), said crime against journalists should not go unpunished.
He said every time a journalist was killed, UNESCO called for justice; adding that sadly, their records show that more than 800 journalists were killed in the last decade, with nine out 10 going unpunished.
He urged nations to ensure the freedom and safety of journalists and to promote the right to information and freedom of speech.
The 2018 World Press Freedom Day, on the theme, “Keeping Power in Check: Media, Justice and The Rule of Law,” is being organised by the UNESCO in collaboration with the Government of Ghana.
The event brought together more than 700 leading actors from the media, civil society, policy makers, representatives of the judiciary, and academia to discuss latest developments and pressing challenges related to press freedom and the safety of journalists.
The World Press Freedom Day celebration found its origin in the Windhoek Declaration, calling for media pluralism and independence, adopted in 1991 in Namibia.
Since 1993, the Day had been the UN International Day on freedom of expression and press freedom.
This year’s celebration focuses on the role of the media in speaking the truth to power and ensure accountability of institutions and policymakers.