Malawi Regulatory Authority (MACRA) has admitted that the communication landscape has changed in the digital age.
MACRA Director General, Daud Suleman made the admission Monday during the opening of the two-day workshop for Malawi Police Public Relations Officers under the theme “policing in the digital era” at Sunbird Capital Hotel in Lilongwe.
He said, “We moved from a world where we used to get our news and information on television, radio, and print productions to everyone everywhere having access to information and news all the time.
Daud said this is the “breaking news era” where anyone with a phone and access to the internet could share anything with the world at any given time.
The Director General noted that the coming of the fifth generation technologies has brought forth a pull effect in terms of demand for Information Communication Technology (ICT) services in the world.
He added that access to information and communication has had a positive impact on the social and financial level of any given county, driving the digital economy and contributing towards its Growth Domestic Product (GDP) growth.
Daud observed that public relations are indeed at the heart of every organization, and was the link between the effective management of an organization and its strategic public, without which our voice as an institution is lost.
“We highly value the important duties Public relations functionality plays. We saw it fit to hold this workshop where the Public Relations Society of Malawi (PRSM) will train you on how to provide effective communication in the digital era,” he explained.
He said PRSM would tackle integral issues of Public Relations and media ethics, community relations, and media management.
Daud said MACRA has partnered with MPS on several issues most notable is the mobile fraud task force, where various key stakeholders have come together to harmonize our efforts in the fight against the vice that is mobile fraud.
“We believe that our combined efforts and the deployment of the identity register system in the country are in the right direction in dealing with mobile money fraudsters and making our digital space safe for all,” he added.
Inspector General of MPS, Merlyne Yolamu expressed gratitude to the MACRA for the technical support provided to them in setting up a digital forensic laboratory.
She said the world was migrating from analog to digital and so are crimes.
Yolamu said this support comes at a time when we are struggling to adequately combat cybercrimes in the country including electronic money fraud, as well as cyber-abetted crimes such as human trafficking and irregular migration, which put our country at risk of harboring terrorists.
“Once installed, the equipment will enhance the Malawi Police Service’s ability to detect and disrupt criminal syndicates as well as successfully prosecute perpetrators of cybercrimes in courts,” she added.
President of the PRSM, Benson Linje appealed to Police PROs to join the professional body in order to enhance their professionalism.
He said by joining the organization would help them to gain experience from other PROs from various government ministries and private sectors on how to effectively communicate to the public.