The CEO of Strategic Communications Africa Limited (Stratcomm Africa), Ms. Esther Amba Numaba Cobbah, has asserted that effective communication is a necessity for good governance.
She made this statement during a capacity-building training programme in public policy and corporate branding for the government Public Relations Officers (PROs) on Monday, 11th September 2023 in Accra.
“The role of the communication officers in the government institutions cannot be underestimated. The ability to govern this country well depends on the ability to work with policymakers and the government to communicate effectively. There cannot be good governance without effective communication,” Ms. Cobbah stressed.
She pointed out that the country’s commitment to democracy necessitates constant and open communication between the leaders and the public. She indicated that the effectiveness of public policies depends on their being communicated effectively as even the policy-making process involves communication with the public and obtaining data to inform policy formation
She stated, “Communication is key. It is of course not just about one-way dissemination of information from the government. That is why there is a Public Relations Coordinating Division in the Information Services Department (ISD)”. Information flow takes place within the context of building and sustaining relations with the various publics that are the targets of the information, she added.
According to Ms. Cobbah, the name of the Division within ISD, that is, the Public Relations Coordinating Division is very relevant to its function for coordinating the flow of information. She said this is because within the government communication structure, there ought to be effective coordination, so that what one person is saying about a policy in one ministry is consistent with what another is saying, to avoid confusion among members of the public.
She added that “obtaining feedback is also included in your assignment since that enables the communication process to be constantly adapted to ensure that the information really reaches the audience and is effective in achieving the planned objective.”
Ms. Cobbah stated that for strong coordination within the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), improved internal communication is essential.
On his part, the Ag. Director of ISD, Mr. David Owusu-Amoah, noted that the Ministry of Information and ISD as part of the Transformation Agenda had embarked on capacity-building initiatives to equip and strengthen its staff, especially Public Relations Officers posted to the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs); the Regional Coordinating Councils (RCCs) and in the Ghana Foreign Missions to effectively perform their duties.
“It is expected that the workshop will provide hands-on training from seasoned PR resource persons to increase the understanding of public policies and expose government PROs to strategies to effectively enhance the image of their institutions” he added.
The capacity-building training programme was organized by Stratcomm Africa in partnership with the ISD to build the knowledge and skills of government PROs posted to the various MDAs by the ISD in order to enhance their performance. The training had the Corporate Affairs Managers from the Volta River Authority (VRA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) participating in it.
The programme was also supported by the Cocoa Processing Company.
Patience Anaadem, ISD