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Somalia seeks help to implement media and public awareness strategy

Storyline:National News

Somalia on Tuesday appealed to international partners to support the implementation of the country’s media and public awareness strategy.

The strategy seeks to counter negative narratives and aid efforts to restore peace and stability.

Mohamed Abdi Hayir, information, culture and tourism minister, in February, launched the three-year National Strategy for Public Awareness 2018-2021 plan, which is centred on coordinated and aligned public awareness campaigns by Somali authorities, media houses, civil society groups and international partners.

Speaking at a consultative meeting with representatives of international organizations and firms that are working on media and public awareness programs in Somalia, Hayir said some international agencies working on public awareness activities had not been following established government policies and strategies.

“We would like our international partners to follow the set policies and guidelines of the ministry of information, which is responsible for guiding and setting policies of public awareness activities in Somalia,” said Hayir in a statement issued by the UN mission in Somalia (UNSOM).

UNSOM’s chief of strategic communications and public affairs group Carlos Araujo said without coordination and collaboration, unity of messaging, accountability, and knowledge of the local context, national public awareness campaigns are bound to fail,

Araujo noted that strategic communication can play a vital role in promoting broader public understanding and endorsement of government policies.

The day-long meeting brought together representatives from the United Nations system, the African Union, foreign embassies and private companies.

Mogadishu-based communications consultant Abdurahman Osman stressed improved collaboration among the information ministry and its international partners would help support efforts to rebuild Somalia’s image as the country emerges from decades of instability.

“We have got a negative image, and the way to fight it is to present our positive side and highlight it and do it as best as we can,” said Osman. Enditem