Republican Vice President Inonge Wina has called on the delegates to the first-ever World Communication Forum Africa being held in Lusaka to devise strategies that will help many countries in the world to regulate social media.
Speaking during the opening of the forum, Mrs Wina said that government is concerned with the negative impact of social media on people’s privacy and countries’ economies and that countries should come up with strategies that will address the negative branding on various economies by the digital era.
Mrs Wina indicated that despite the merits of social media, it has had negative impacts on people’s right to privacy and detrimental to global economies due to its negative branding.
Mrs Wina made the remarks today during the official opening of the first-ever World Communication Forum Africa being held in Lusaka from 24th to 25th November.
“As the World is grappling with the negative impact of COVID-19 social media has helped to bridge the gap of communication via applications such as facebook, whatsapp and Instagram. Despite this positive trend, the digital platform has had a negative impact on individuals right to privacy and rebranding the countries, therefore, this meeting is a timely occasion to come up with strategies that will regulate how social media operates,” the Vice President stressed.
Mrs Wina expressed confidence that the World Communication Forum will halt online crime abuse that is being perpetuated by criminals.
And Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services Dora Siliya whose ministry is spearheading the event, said the World Communication Forum for Africa is the game changer in the way people use social media.
Ms Siliya stressed that with the overweighing number of media practitioners from different spectrum attending the meeting, there is no doubt that the resolutions from the conference will positively project social media usage.
Meanwhile, an envoy of the Zimbabwean government said her country has embraced both traditional and digital media platforms.
Senator Monica Mutsvangwa said the evolving technology has brought people together and expedited business transactions despite the physical boundaries.
Ms Mutsvangwa who is Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services pointed out that the key to regulating social media is planning and proper communication.
She emphasized that professional communicators should stick to the truth and report objectively in order to expose the unfactual stories that some sections of the digital platforms propagate.
“You will agree with me that we are lucky that Covid-19 struck in the era of social media because as countries we managed to continue communicating and holding virtual meetings such as the United Nations General Assembly virtually. In my home country the government has embraced both social media platforms and we have established a call center that is helping us to analyze the messages that are put across,” she said.
The Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister recalled that when her country was stricken by cyclone Idai together with Malawi and Mozambique in January last year (2019) the news was spread through social media and many countries rendered support to the victims.
The World Communication Forum that will run from 24th to 25th November is being held at Bonanza Resort under the theme ‘Communication in a Changing World: Challenges and chances’ and is being attended virtually by the World Communication Forum Association President Maxima Behar.