GOVT, COMESA ENGAGES MEDIA FOR SUPPORT IN LEAD PROGRAMMES

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GOVT, COMESA ENGAGES MEDIA FOR SUPPORT IN LEAD PROGRAMMES
GOVT, COMESA ENGAGES MEDIA FOR SUPPORT IN LEAD PROGRAMMES

Africa-Press – Eswatini. Government, in collaboration with Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) secretariat, today engaged media practitioners to enhance the role of media in supporting and disseminating information about COMESA’s initiatives at the national level.

The Workshop was held at Hilton Gardon Inn, in Mbabane.

Cebile Nhlabatsi, on behalf of Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Commerce Industry and Trade Siboniso Nkambule, outlined the program’s key elements before disclosing the upcoming 2024 COMESA Media Awards.

Nhlabatsi encouraged Eswatini media practitioners to participate in the awards.

“The media plays a crucial role in information dissemination, which shapes the national policy development. Furthermore, the media is important in driving national discussions on various issues of importance. Hence, today we are here to share information on the COMESA programs to defend the regional integration in the agenda.” said Nkambule.

He stated that through the media, all Emaswati will have access to information.

“This workshop, therefore, comes at the right time when Emaswati has participated in the national elections, making it an opportune moment for new legislators to gain insights into trade – a cornerstone of the nation’s economy” she said.

Nkambule explained that providing credible information would enable informed debates on crucial national issues.

“COMESA in 2009 launched the media awards in Zimbabwe. The objective of the awards is to promote reporting and COMESA regional integration activities by recognizing journalists who work to contribute to integrating integration agenda. The awards are open to journalists from all the 21 COMESA member States. I, therefore, challenge the different media houses represented here today to join the 2024 media awards.” said Nkambule.

Meanwhile, Mwangi Gakunga, COMESA Head of Corporate Communications, said: “Usually, we host a regional media capacity building workshops whereby we invite representatives from our 21 COMESA Member States and of course, when we do that, we usually invite like two journalists so, this is the first time that we are doing a national media workshop focusing on journalists in a Member State. From our previous regional actions, it was felt that we need to conduct these workshops because both national and regional workshops complement each other, and we will be able to achieve better outcomes. For example, the regional workshop, we reach more countries, but we reach fewer journalists. The National workshop. We will reach a much larger pool of journalists like the team that we have today,” said Gakunga.

The workshop marks a crucial step in fostering a robust partnership between the media and COMESA for the advancement of regional integration initiatives in Eswatini.

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