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Friday, July 19, 2024

Communication critical in addressing social challenges

Story by Patience Nyagato

The power of communication in addressing pressing global challenges came to the fore during a two-day Zimbabwe Corporate and Public Affairs Executive Summit held in Harare this Thursday.

The role of communication in managing and transforming nations took centre stage at the summit aimed at equipping public affairs practitioners with the knowledge to effectively address social challenges.

Chairperson of the Institute of Public Relations and Communications Zimbabwe, Mr Proctor Nyamba said, “Communication has become very critical hence the discussion. The crisis has become a day-to-day problem and corporate affairs should be able to make plans to make a change and transform communities.”

“There is definitely a need for us to provide a platform for media and communication to come together and engage. Media plays a very important role to play in communication,” noted Premier Service Holding Company Public Relations Communications and Brand Manager, Mr Arthur Choga

In a speech read on her behalf, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation chief executive officer, Ms Adelaide Chikunguru, who was the Guest Of Honour, underscored the need to implement national communication strategies, including the establishment of a media development fund and a national communication strategy.

“There are several national communication strategies that can be implemented in Zimbabwe to unleash the power of communication in the country. Here are a few examples: Develop a National Digital Strategy: We need to develop a comprehensive digital strategy that includes policies and programmes to improve internet connectivity, expand access to digital technologies, and promote digital literacy. This will require investment in infrastructure, education, and regulatory reform.

“Establish a National Media Development Fund: A national media development fund could be established to support the development of new media outlets, promote media diversity, and support the training and professional development of journalists and media professionals. The fund could be financed through a combination of government and private sector contributions. You may find this unbelievable, but I am happy that we have new players in the broadcasting industry. Having multiple players in the broadcasting industry has several advantages for consumers and the industry as a whole. It promotes diversity of viewpoints, encourages competition and innovation, fosters greater accountability, and ensures that local news coverage remains robust and comprehensive,” she said.

The summit attended by communication practitioners from private and public institutions is aimed at equipping members with digital skills to navigate the world in the wake of an increase in global conflicts.

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