Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Henry Mussa, Wednesday engaged Public Relations officers from government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to strategise how the latter can best disseminate information on government development projects.
In an interview after a behind-closed-doors meeting, Mussa, who is also the Government Spokesperson, said it is important for PROs to be on top of information dissemination in their respective MDAs in order to have a well-informed nation for effective decision making.
Mussa said that a nation without timely and effective information is a dead nation, hence the governments’ wish for PROs to be proactive in their operations for enhanced service delivery.
He said the interface was, thus, designed to have the PROs explain their professional challenges that lead to inadequate publicity that is generated for various developments requiring the citizenry to know.
“PROs are at the centre of information dissemination and government has, in the past four and half years, achieved more development than it has received credit for in publicity.
“So I wanted to hear the challenges they encounter in the course of their job and see how best we can address them,” said the minister.
He cited successes in the tourism industry, economy and infrastructure development projects as among examples that have suffered inadequate publicity.
Speaking for the PROs, President of Public Relations Society of Malawi, who is also TEVETA’s Head of Corporate Affairs, Lewis Msasa, said among the challenges was lack of adequate information because they are not engaged in most critical decision-making activities.
He said there is also lack of effective coordination between the PROs and technocrats in their respective ministries and organisations so much that there are delays in relaying information from the technocrats to the PROs for dissemination.
Msasa also cited budget constraints which he said stretch to unavailability of convenient transportation “in the course of our work.”
Mussa has since promised to hold talks with fellow Ministers and raise the PROs’ concerns to see how best they could be addressed.
The minister will meet again with the PROs in two weeks’ time for further discussions that will see the two parties coming up with a roadmap on how best to serve the nation in information dissemination.
The meeting was attended by 50 PROs representing various MDAS.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :