SALIMA-(MaraviPost)-Malawi media has been challenged to advance SADC Regional Integration Agenda by educating and informing society about the benefits and opportunities of belonging to a shared community of southern Africa.
Malawi government through Foreign Affairs and information ministries and SADC secretariat have made the appeal ahead of Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera’s regional chairpersonship ascendancy.
Information Director Chikumbutso Mtumodzi on Friday, July 30, 2021 told the three day media orientation conference under way in the Lake shore district of Salima that the gathering meant to impart knowledge on SADC agenda to region states for informed reporting.
“This capacity building as in its title is about sharing knowledge on SADC Regional Integration. Unless journalists and other influecial sectors of the society begin to understand SADC Regional Integration. The region shall continue to grow at a stagnant pace.SADC Regional Integration is the backbone of economic growth for the member states.
“But the set back is that the citizens of SADC have little knowledge about SADC Regional Integration. Because the people who are charged to inform the citizens themselves don’t know or don’t understand SADC Regional Integration. It is therefore my call to you to follow each and every part of this training seriously, so that tap every piece of knowledge which our experts have come impart to us. This is our opportunity to get answers on everything about SADC Regional Integration,” says Mtumbodzi.
Southern African Research and Documentation Centre (SARDC)’s Executive Director,Munetsi Madakufamba observes that the regional integration agenda of SADC is not known well enough in the region beyond the government officials who deal with SADC on a regular basis hence media fully engagement.
Madakufamba said media is an important partner that helps us to make sense of the SADC Regional Integration Agenda by educating and informing society about the benefits and opportunities of belonging to a shared community of southern Africa.
“We fully appreciate the fact that as Journalists, you can only write or broadcast something that you yourselves fully understand. Therefore, this is why we have organised this capacity building workshop, to help you navigate some of the intricacies process of regional integration.
“We strongly believe that a well-informed and capacitated media will not only be able to educate SADC citizens on integration issues, but also contribute to shaping the integration agenda of SADC and the agenda for SADC leaders to discuss at their regional meetings as well as track the implementation of regional agreements signed by Member States to ensure accountability of the integration agenda.This knowledge is particularly critical now when Malawi will be chair of SADC from August 2021 to August 2022,” he said.
Madakufamba added, “As the media in Malawi, the rest of the region will be depending on you to clearly articulate Malawi’s leadership role in guiding SADC’s Regional Integration Agenda during its tenure as Chair of the regional body.
“As SARDC, we stand ready to assist and work with the Media in Malawi to advance the SADC Integration Agenda and “tell our own SADC story.” Our track record in regional media development is vast, and we have conducted a number of similar workshops in various SADC Member States.
With financial support from GITZ, the media training workshop for journalists from Malawi on SADC Regional Integration has attracted reporters across the country from online, electronic and print media houses.
Malawi is expected to host this year’s SADC Summit from August 9 to 19, 2021 in the capital Lilongwe.
Malawi President Chakwera is expect to take SADC mantle on August 17, 2021 to the next 12 months
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is a Regional Economic Community comprising 16 Member States; Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.