The Royal Norwegian Ambassador to Malawi, Kikkan Haugen Monday visited various sections under the Department of Information in Lilongwe to appreciate and learn some of the functions of the Directorate.
Among the sections, the Ambassador visited included; Malawi News Agency (Mana) Headquarters, film unit, technical and publications.
Speaking after the visit, Haugen said the main objective of his visit was to understand how the department operates, its capacity and learn about the relationship between the Department and other media houses in the country.
He said he was impressed to note that the Department of Information plays a crucial role among which is making sure that the public is aware of various projects that the government was implementing.
“I am quite impressed with what I have learnt especially how the Department is carrying out its functions. What pleases me is the fact that the Department acts like a vehicle of information to and from various agencies as well as the government” the Ambassador said in brief.
Haugen described information as one of the driving engines of the country’s development and appealed to government to always strive in bridging the information gap.
“It is only when the people are well informed it is when they can actively participate in the development agenda of the country.
“We commend Malawi government for passing the Access to Information Bill which empowers Malawians to access any information they want and that way, participate in the developmental activities of the country,” he observed.
Meanwhile, the Ambassador has promised to continue supporting Malawi government through the Department of Information in enhancing the communication sector in the country.
“Capacity building is one of the issues that we must consider and as Norway we are ready to support,” he pointed out.
Deputy Director in the Ministry Of Information, Arthur Chipenda said the Ambassador’s visit offers an opportunity for Malawi to learn from Norway on how the communication sector could be developed as well as managed.
“It is really an honour for the Ambassador to visit our department and appreciate what we do. We discussed a number of issues but the emphasis on how we can strengthen the communication sector of the country.
“As a country, we expect to learn a lot from Norway, for instance on the issue of access to information Bill, our friends are far away us and we can learn from their experience,” he explained.
Chipenda added, “We briefed the Ambassador on the challenges that we face as an institution as well as the aspects of Malawi journalism as a whole.”
This is the first time that the Ambassador has visited sections of Department of Information in the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology.
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