By Nasser Kasozi Akandwanaho
The Taskforce on Government Communications and National Guidance presented the final National Communications Policy and National Guidance Policy to Dr. Aminah Zawedde – Permanent Secretary Ministry of ICT & National Guidance.
In attendance at the workshop was Maj Gen. Sam Kavuuma, Deputy Coordinator of Operation Wealth Creation.
The Uganda Government has suffered a significant loss of trust among a substantial population due to uncoordinated communications. Increasingly, the country has witnessed scenes of Government officials contradicting themselves or communicating different positions on policy and Government programs. In some cases, officials criticize one another. As a result, public confidence in government communications is lost, creating a gap filled by alternative media sources and fake news.
Additionally, the Government’s communications are usually delayed due to the absence of a mechanism to quickly reach a common position by the responsible Ministries, Departments & Agencies and Local Governments and communicate this position accurately and timely. Consequently, speculation and misinformation thrive on closing this gap, primarily through alternative communication channels, misleading the local and international people.
The developed National Communications Policy seeks to mitigate the above challenges and ensure effective communication, especially as Uganda implements critical national, regional, and global plans, programmes, and policies to improve the quality of people’s lives. These include Vision 2040 and associated National Development Plan III, Agenda for Sustainable Development, East African Common Market Protocol, and the NRM Manifesto (2021-26).
‘I thank the National Taskforce on Communications and National Guidance. It has been a busy 10 months for them and we can see the fruits. We shall now these documents on and submit them to Cabinet for approval,’ Dr. Aminah said.
‘Once approved, the policies will anchor all of Government efforts that relate to Government communications and National Guidance.
As she concluded her remarks, Dr. Aminah Zawedde shared that the National Guidance Policy ‘will spur one to love Uganda & have the desire to see it become the best version of itself, to point out its failures, to recognize how we each have been complicit in allowing its negative to persist, to work together to create an environment in which every citizen has all that they need — love, food, health, peace, prosperity — and are truly treated as equals in every regard.’
Maj Gen. Kavuuma in his remarks, said ‘We live in an era of advancements and technology; humans are developing intelligence to unimaginable extents up to the creation of artificial intelligence, but at the same time we might be losing touch with emotions like compassion which are the very essence of humanity. We are progressing yet we are regressing, we need to discover the ideal of Ubuntu as a nation
‘Individualism is killing our country, the task is upon you the task force, to ensure that your policies address ways we can kill this issue of individualism so that we can rediscover our love for our nation’ Gen Kavuuma concluded.
Led by Dr. Arthur Sserwanga and deputized by Marcella Karekye, the Government Communications & National Guidance Taskforce was been formed to guide the Ministry of Information Communication Technology to ensure that Government communications are consistent, relevant, and understandable.
The Taskforce includes distinguished communications professionals from the public and private sectors, who have extensive experience in mindset change and communications.