June 20, 2023

“Let’s tell SADC’s success story”, says Hon. Patrick Muyaya, Minister of Information and Media of the DRC

The Minister of Information and Media of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Honourable Patrick Muyaya has called on Member States of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to be in the forefront in telling SADC’s success story.

Hon. Muyaya said this during the opening ceremony of the 28th Regional Adjudication Committee meeting for the 2023 SADC Media Awards on 20 June, 2023. 

The Minister highlighted that, since 1980, when SADC was founded as the Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC) in Lusaka, Zambia, the organisation has made considerable progress in promoting and deepening regional integration, cooperation and socio-economic development which are worth highlighting in the media for the benefits of the SADC citizens.

The Minister added that, through sustainable utlisation of the region’s abundant minerals amd natural resources and the maintenance of peace and security, SADC has set it itself on a path towards the attainment of the SADC Vision 2050 of a peaceful, inclusive, competitive, middle- to high-income industrialised where all citizens enjoy sustainable well-being, justice and freedom. 

 “Our region is never short of positive and meaningful stories. We have a unique story to tell, a story that begins with us. So why not tell it?” Honourable Muyaya said.

The Minister, therefore, urged the SADC National Media Coordinators and other information intermediaries to step up efforts on the promotion of SADC communication and awareness at national, regional and global levels, by providing an effective link between SADC Secretariat and the local media for quick dissemination of information.

In her remarks, the Head of Communication and Public Relations at the SADC Secretariat, Ms. Barbara Lopi highlighted that SADC has achieved great milestones which positively impact on the daily lives of SADC citizens.

Ms. Lopi cited the recent agreement by four SADC Member States namely, Botswana, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe to scrap mobile roaming charges, as an example of SADC’s success stories.

“To most people out there, this story (of scrapping of mobile roaming charges) is just story on the goodwill of the operators. But no. This is part of the SADC “roam like at home” initiative, which was signed in 2007 by SADC Ministers of Communication, and since then, SADC has been engaging with operators to allow consumers to pay charges as close as they would have paid in their home countries,” Ms. Lopi said.

The Regional Adjudication Committee consists of SADC National Media Coordinators and members of the National Adjudication Committee (NAC) from SADC Member States to adjudicate on entries of the SADC Media Awards which are open annually to journalists from the SADC region in four categories namely, Photo, Print, Television and Radio Journalism.

The SADC Media Awards were established in 1996 following the approval of the SADC Council of Ministers in 1995, to recognise best media work in disseminating information on SADC to support the process of SADC regional co-operation and integration

The 2023 SADC Media Awards were launched on 1st October 2022. The first prize winner in each of the four categories will receive US$2,500 and the runner-up will receive US$1000.