17 November 2017
Breaking News
Wednesday, 08 November 2017 13:54

Ministry of Information gets recognition

Written by  Malawi News Agency

Blantyre, November 8, Mana: Ministry of Information and Communications Technology on Tuesday received a certificate of recognition for its best performance in mobilizing communities in Kasungu for emerging drone technology introduced in the district.

UNICEF Communication for Development (C4D) manager, Elnur Aliyev, presented the award to the Ministry at Mount Soche Hotel in Blantyre during a meeting for communication specialists that reviewed progress, challenges and lessons learned in 2017.

The meeting also generated recommendations to improve and strengthen C4D programming in delivering results in 2018.

The Ministry of Information lucratively conducted the mobilization activities to prepare communities living around Kasungu Airfield for the launch of a Humanitarian Drone Testing Corridor that took place in the district on 29th June, 2017.

The launch of the corridor marked the beginning of drone flight testing which, in the absence of awareness raising activities, would cause fear and panic among Kasungu residents.

 Presenting the certificate, UNICEF C4D manager, Elnur Aliyev, said the Ministry of Information in collaboration with other ministries prepared communities for the drone innovation, first of its kind in Africa, and one of the first in the world to focus on the humanitarian aspect and development.

 “We are awarding the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology a certificate of recognition for the best community- mobilization-emerging technologies,” said Aliyev amidst hand clapping by participants to the review meeting.

 The Ministry, alongside members of National Social Mobilization Committee (NSMC) also received a second award for best performance in social mobilization at national level.   

“Though it took long, you led seven principal secretaries [Information, Gender, Civic Education, Health, Disaster, Education and Local Government] to sign for terms of reference to revitalize the NSM committee. Thank you so much,” said the C4D manager.

 Receiving the certificates on behalf of the Ministry, Deputy Coordinator for C4D programme, Wallace Chipeta, hailed UNICEF for recognizing the Ministry’s outstanding performance.

 “It has come as a surprise to the Ministry. I don’t know where to begin and where to end in expressing my gratitude to UNICEF for this acknowledgement. This will give us the morale to do even much better than before.”

 UNICEF supported the ministry (of Information) financially and technically to conduct community mobilization, awareness activities and produce documentary on Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAVs) or drones in Kasungu.

Three drone companies, GLOBE & HEMOCUE and GLOBE –Skarl & IBM both from Sweden, and Precision Made in Malawi, were certified to conduct drone flight tests for one year from the day of the launch on June 29.

The Government of Malawi through Ministry of Transport and Public Works, led in the launch of the corridor.

 Due to the uniqueness of the innovation, the ministry conducted community mobilization and awareness activities between 17th May and 29th June, 2017 and these included 10 interface meetings with Area Development Committees (ADCs) and District council members, 12 interactive film shows and 18 road shows.

Alongside road shows, drone testing demonstrations were done in selected areas of Katayanthona, Chanthunthu and Chisazima.

The Ministry’s C4D programme team worked with other officials from Ministry of Civic Education, Culture and Community Development, Department of Civil Aviation, Ministries of Health, Education, Science and Technology, Local Government and Rural Development, and the Metrological Department including UNICEF.

Other nongovernmental organizations dealing with C4D interventions that also received awards from UNICEF for best performances were Centre for Development Communication (CDC), Story Workshop (SWET), Population Services International (PSI), Malawi Redcross Society, Malawi Health Equity Network (MHEN) and YONECO.