Govt says media is critical in amplifying SADC Regonal Integration agenda

Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Luckie Sikwese, has observed that media could play a key role in amplifying Southern African Development Community (SADC) Regional Integration agenda.

Sikwese made the sentiments in Salima on Thursday during the national media roundtable for editors on SADC Regional integration.

The SARDC Executive Director Dr. Munetsi 

He said in line with the SADC treaty, which further highlights that measures should be taken to involve the people of the region in the SADC regional integration agenda, the Government of Malawi has planned to engage media managers and editors as gatekeepers of information in the newsroom entrusted with powers to decide which story to publish or broadcast.

The national media roundtable for editors and managers has been formed to help the government in preparing for the hosting of the 41st SADC Ordinary Summit of Heads of States and Governments.

This event taking place in Salima is therefore designed to capacitate media manager with knowledge about SADC regional integration agenda.

Delegates from Southern African Resource and Documentation Centre (SARDC) from Harare in Zimbabwe are also attending the meeting.

In his keynote speech, Sikwese said SADC National Committee has coopted Media Council Chairperson into the committee.

“You may wish to note that at our recently launched SADC National Committee, we have included the Chairperson of Media Council of Malawi to be part of this important Committee in order to close this gap. We also plan to hold various engagement with the local media to ensure that during our Chairmanship, we will also speak in the same wavelength and engage more to popularize the SADC Regional Integration Agenda in Malawi and in the region,” he said.

The PS disclosed that with support from SARDC, SADC Secretariat and GIZ, there is need to strengthen the role of the press to ensure that the general populace appreciates and understands the importance of having SADC.

“Beyond the summit, we trust that our engagement today will build lasting and trustworthy relationships that would enable us to share issues and engage more on SADC Regional Integration Agenda. As Malawi, we want the Summit to be covered extensively and professionally. We appreciate your ability and professionalism and we believe that adding to the existing knowledge will assist in the success of the Summit and Malawi’s Chairmanship beyond this event,” said Sikwese.

The high-level roundtable for editors has been made possible with funding from GIZ through the “Strengthening National and Regional Linkages Programme” project.

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