Government of Malawi through the Ministry of Information, Ministry of Foreign Affairs in coordination with Southern African Research and Documentation Centre (SADC) have trained Journalists from different media houses across the country on how to report on SADC related issues.
The training focused much on SADC regional integration and also the coverage on SADC issues.
Speaking at the workshop on Friday, 30th July, 2021 in Salima District, Director of Information at the Ministry of Information Chikumbutso Mtumodzi highlighted that as Govt thought it was very wise to fully equip media personnel on SADC issues as the country is set to host the 41st Summit,
He added that Journalists having more information about SADC will help them when writing stories about SADC as well as covering of different activities during the summit.
“You would appreciate that the media is very important part of government in Malawi, as such this workshop is going to sensitize the media on the need of having knowledge and information on regional integration and other elements of SADC. We felt that we should bring it together so that as Malawi host a summit, at the same time attaining the Chairmanship, we shall all be on same page, we shall all know the importance of Malawi being Chair, we shall all know the importance of Malawi being on the global village through regional bodies like SADC,” he said.
Mtumodzi further added: “So this is the reason why we felt it is necessary that we should hold this workshop for Journalists and this workshop is gonna impart knowledge and information which is vital for the media to know and appreciate what has happened in the last 41 years when SADC was formed.”
Mtumodzi also hinted that there are a lot of benefits that Malawi media will benefit from issues to do with SADC regional integration.
“There are a lot of benefits in sense that we will be able to appreciate and know the other avenues that are of beneficial for instance investor relation, tourism, issues to with climate change. These are issues that Malawi is focusing on so after this workshop Journalists will be able to know what has happened in the last 41 years, what has been happening in other countries in the region and also SADC developments agenda and programs,” said Mtumodzi.
In his remarks, Executive Director of Southern African Research and Documentation Centre (SARDC) Munetsi Madakufamba said it is very important that the media in Malawi is sensitized on issues to do with SADC so that as Journalist they should be more aware of the relevance of the regional decisions and how they apply in general population.
“Decisions of SADC are taken at region level but for these decisions to have a meaning and a relevance they must be applied at National level. Therefore, it becomes very important that such decisions are Communicated to the wider population in Malawi to make sure that citizens engage with Policy makers, with government, to make sure that developments that take place are a result of regional decisions. We want people in the region to be well informed on SADC issues and we will achieve that together with Malawi media practitioners,” explained Madakufamba.
The workshop was organised by the Government of Malawi in coordination with Southern African Research and Documentation Centre (SARDC) and SADC Secretariat with Financial support from GIZ.
Malawi is set to host the 41st SADC summit from 9 August to 18 August 2021 and Malawi President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera is expected to take the SADC Chairmanship on August 17, 2021 for a period of 12 months.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is a regional economic community comprising 16 countries, Malawi, Zambia, South Africa, Tanzania, Mozambique and Zimbambwe, Namibia, Seychelles, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Comoros, Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo and Mauritius. It is almost 41 years now since SADC was formed.