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Ministry drills information officers

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Malawi government has said it remains committed to see its citizens well-informed on issues of national importance.

Minister of Information, Tourism and Culture Kondwani Nankhumwa made the remarks in Liwonde during the official opening of a three-day broadcast reporting training for District Information Officers (DIOs) across the country, Monday.

Nankhumwa said it is the wish of government to keep its citizens abreast of what is happening in their communities.

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The minister said after the training, government would like to see the DIOs filing stories to Malawi Broad Casting Corporation (MBC).

“Malawians expect a lot from you [since you are] the foot soldiers on the ground that face the public each and every day. You have a great role to play in developing the nation through the stories that you send from all districts.

“I need not remind you that radio is the prime source of news for the majority of Malawians, so I urge you to take this transfer of skills seriously and deliver the expected outcomes on the ground,” Nankhumwa said.

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The training was funded by the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra).

Speaking during the opening ceremony, Macra Deputy Director General, Francis Bisika, said with policy direction from government, his organisation is making sure that access to information is not just a privilege but a right for all Malawians.

“We are doing this with the knowledge that information is power and a driver for development, democracy and good governance,” he said.

Bisika also said as a regulator of communications services, they are making sure that even the remotest parts of the country have access to information.

“Our support for this training workshop is in recognition of the role government information officers play in complimenting our role of promoting universal access to information. Unlike us, information officers live close to people at the grassroots and relate well to the challenges they face in accessing communication services,” he said.

He then urged the DIOs to use their proximity with communities by communicating to them about some of the ICT initiatives and opportunities that are there that could help transform the lives of rural people.

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