The Minister of State for ICT – National Guidance, Hon. Kabbyanga Godfrey Baluku has announced the appointment of a Taskforce on Government Communications and National Guidance that will be working with the Ministry of Information Communication Technology to ensure that government communications are consistent, relevant, and comprehensible. The Taskforce in addition will also provide input in the formulation of the National Guidance program.
Led by the marketing and communications expert, Prof. Arthur Sserwanga, the Taskforce includes 13 other distinguished communications professionals from public and private sectors, who have extensive experience in mindset change and communications.
The Taskforce will set out how the Government will deliver communications across Uganda and internationally, with the overarching ambition to help the country recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.
While addressing journalists, Hon. Kabbyanga said, “The formation of the Taskforce will disruptively change how government communicates. With experts from the biggest brands in Uganda, finally, the government can tap into the wide portfolio of skills that make up the Taskforce.”
Hon. Kabbyanga instructed the 14-man Taskforce to ensure that one of the areas of focus is communications professional practice across government —start embedding behavioral science into their campaign planning, upskilling in data and digital, and the importance of communicating consistently.
The 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 have criticized 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 (MDAs), 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.
To mitigate the challenges mentioned [above], fostering effective communication is crucial, especially as Uganda implements critical national, regional, and global plans, programs, 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). However, their success depends on how much they are understood and appreciated by the majority of Ugandans.
Therefore, the focus has been placed on revamping government communications by addressing the identified communication and national guidance challenges.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of ICT and National Guidance, Dr. Aminah Zawedde congratulated the various taskforce members upon their appointment. “As a government, it’s extremely important that our communications reflect the multi-cultural and multi-faceted society that we serve. I am confident this Taskforce will ace at this assignment,” she said.
“The blend of experience and expertise the members of the taskforce bring will be invaluable in supporting Government communications to go from strength to strength, and ensure value is delivered to citizens,” Dr. Zawedde added.
The new Taskforce will have the following terms of reference:
- To assist, in an advisory capacity, the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance in creating an Integrated Marketing and Communications strategy for the Government of Uganda. The special focus will be on behavioral change communications and the formulation of Information Education and Communication materials.
- To work with the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance to supervise the implementation of the proposed Integrated Branding & Communications strategy and ensure the involvement of all sectors, i.e. public sector and the private sector.
- Enhance collaborations between Government and Media to enhance Government communications and
- Support all efforts to spur patriotism in Uganda.
- Foster collaborations with International Partners in liaison with their respective consulates/embassies in a
deliberate effort to dictate the Uganda Narrative.
|Prof Arthur Sserwanga||Chairperson|
|Steven Kirenga||General Secretary|
|Brandy Valentine Azeirwe||Member|