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05.07.2005 General News

PROs urged to support continental, regional initiatives


Accra, July 5, GNA - African public relations practitioners have been urged to support and get involved in continental and regional development initiatives such as NEPAD, East African Community, AU and ECOWAS.

They should support the dismantling of the legacies of corruption, political patronage and bad governance, through effective management of information to empower the citizenry to demand for accountability of their leaders, participate in the development process and change the perception of Africa.

This was contained in a resolution passed at the end of the 18th All Africa Public Relations Conference of the Federation of African Public Relations Association (FAPRA) held in Nairobi, Kenya. The conference was under the theme: "Unlocking Africa's Potential". A statement issued in Accra on Tuesday said the conference identified serious gaps in government communication, and enjoined African governments to recognize the role of public relations in the development agenda, and in developing appropriate legislative frameworks.

"The public relations practitioner should play a leading role in telling the African story the African way to market Africa's potential. "FAPRA should entrench corporate social responsibility (CSR) in public relations practice for the genuine welfare and development of communities in Africa."

The resolution said national public relations associations should take the lead in the re-orientation of politicians and senior management on the role of Public Relations in government and public affairs in their various countries.

"Public Relations practitioners in Africa should become part of the world campaign on accreditation and ethics as a means to enhancing professionalism in Public Relations practice on the Continent." It said FAPRA should collaborate with other continental and global public relations bodies so as to be part of the campaign on media transparency.

"FAPRA should champion good governance and the use of Public Relations as a means to expanding the democratic space in Africa. This should include, influencing legislation on freedom and access to information on the Continent."

The resolution stated that the role of Public Relations on the Continent was not well appreciated, recognized and facilitated as a strategic tool in management and corporate governance.

"Public Relations practitioners should, therefore, be part of the strategic management team in the public and private sectors to provide the requisite counsel on communications, corporate image and reputation management.

"Given the present perception of public relations on the Continent, Public Relations practitioners should reposition the profession by developing programmes that are measurable so as to demonstrate their value and contribution to strategic leadership in the public and private sectors."