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SADC Strengthens Communication Strategies Through Virtual Workshop

The Secretariat of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) conducted a virtual workshop on January 31st, 2024, bringing together officials responsible for Information, Communication, and Public Relations from SADC Member States. 

The primary aim was to bolster communication, awareness, and visibility of SADC programs, activities, and impact within the region and globally.

Ambassador António Nascimento, the Director of Institutional Communications and Press at the Ministry of External Relations of the Republic of Angola (MIREX), urged Member States to collaborate and share information to amplify awareness of SADC’s achievements since its establishment in 1980. 

He emphasized the unique opportunity presented by the diplomatic missions of SADC Member States to enhance awareness about SADC’s contributions.

Highlighting the importance of finding new communication forms, Ambassador Nascimento emphasized reaching a diverse global audience in line with the communication objectives outlined in the SADC Regional Development Indicative Plan (RISDP) 2020-2030. 

This plan serves as the guiding blueprint for SADC’s regional integration and development agenda.

The Head of Communication and Public Relations at the SADC Secretariat, Ms. Lopi, underscored the crucial role of embassies, high commissions, and diplomatic missions in expanding SADC’s global awareness. 

Leveraging diplomatic missions to extend the reach of SADC messages aligns with the objectives of the RISDP 2020-2030, which seeks enhanced communication, visibility, and awareness of SADC’s activities and impact globally.

Ms. Lopi pointed out that as a regional body comprising 16 Member States, SADC represents a market of about 389 million people with a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of approximately US$841 billion. 

This offers substantial potential for trade, investment opportunities, and economic growth, ultimately leading to improved livelihoods.

Ambassador R. Chikava, Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Zimbabwe, expressed that the workshop is timely as Zimbabwe prepares to assume the Chairship of SADC at the 44th SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government in August 2024. 

She noted that the workshop has positively contributed to the existing skills base, ensuring the visibility and awareness of the SADC brand for the region’s common future enhancement.

During the workshop, participants shared initiatives undertaken by Member States to promote SADC’s work in regional integration, cooperation, and development through their foreign missions. 

The participants resolved to enhance collaboration and information sharing between the SADC Secretariat and Ministries responsible for Foreign Affairs to create worldwide visibility for SADC and its Member States through embassies, high commissions, and diplomatic missions.

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