Stakeholders have advocated for the development of strategic communication plans to mobilise national support for effectively conveying Africa’s narratives.
The Account Management Director of Insight Publicis, Oluwaseyi Layade, disclosed this at a conversations-and-cocktails event, to commemorate Africa Day and Africa Communications Week 2023, hosted by Quadrant MSL and other communications professionals, which was held recently in Lagos.
In her opening remarks, she highlighted the importance of strategic communications in garnering national support, using the example of late Mrs Dora Akunyili’s ‘Great People, Great Nation’ campaign.
She welcomed the dialogue and implored communication professionals to proffer solutions on how Africa’s stories can be best told.
The event and dialogue, which was spearheaded by the Business Lead at Quadrant MSL, Oluwarantimi Olaniyan and the ACW host and Corporate Communications Manager of Nestle Nigeria, , Victoria Uwadoka, was designed to promote intentional and responsible communications practices for a stronger African narrative.
Olaniyan said, “Africa’s development is dependent on the perception of its activities by both dwellers and continental colleagues. This perception of Africa determines the volume and degree of trade and investment, patriotism, and hope. For this reason, the African story must be apt to deliver the positive outcomes Africans desire.
“We must look beyond ourselves to collaborate across sectoral and specialisation borders to enhance the true story of our diversity, bringing in content creators, media and non-communicators into the mix.”
She emphasised that the words and manner in which communicators express themselves have consequences for Africa’s reputation.
Panellists, Okiti and Osage-Brown, agreed that the African story was about its diversity and uniqueness, stressing the roles that internal competence and history play in the collective narrative.
The Lagos host of Africa Communications Week stressed the significance of events like ‘Telling the Africa Story’ in shaping and amplifying Africa’s vibrant narratives.
She highlighted the responsibility of African communicators to accurately represent the continent’s realities, challenges, and opportunities.
Uwadoka expressed hope that all participants would actively contribute to positively shaping Africa’s narrative.
On his part, CMC Connect Group’s Chief Executive Officer and President of the African Public Relations Association, Yomi Badejo-Okusanya, encouraged communicators to take the conversations to other stakeholders and encourage dialogue in other spheres of society.