- Your Excellency RADWAN ABDILLAHI BAHDON, Minister of Communication in charge of Postal Services & Telecommunications
- Your Excellency Amb MOHAMED ALI HASSAN, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
- Your Excellency Amb Rahma Saleh Al-Obeid, Ambassador of Sudan to Djibouti and Chair of IGAD Committee of Ambassadors
- Excellencies Ambassadors of IGAD Member States to Djibouti and members of the IGAD Committee of Ambassadors,
- I would like to extend a warm welcome to all the attendees of this important national public media meeting. Your presence here today is a testament to your commitment to the promotion of IGAD’s goals and objectives.
- Thank you to the Minister of Communication and his entire team for hosting this meeting in Djibouti, the HQ of our regional organisation and for the hospitality accorded to the visiting delegations.
- Appreciations for the high-level representation from Ministries of Information, Communication, ICT, from media outlets serving our citizens and the public interest across the region. This is a clear display of your interest in coming together to come to know each other, explore ways and means to collaborate in your common mission that consists in informing and educating our citizens and the rest of the world about our countries, our region, our realities and aspirations.
- Appreciation to you broadcasters – RTD, ENA, EBC, SSBC, KBC, UBC, SUNA- for the excellent services you provided for my State of the Region Addresses in 2021 and 2022. I know SNTV could not make it due to some logistical challenges beyond their control, we’ll do better this year.
- I cannot go on without noticing the absence of our brothers and sisters from Sudan; and acknowledging MRS SUMAYA ELHADI AHMED, MRS FIKAREYA ABAYAZID MOHAMED, AND MR ELWALEED MUSTAFA who are on our attendance list but could not make it to Djibouti to participate in this meeting. Our thoughts are with them, their families and friends, and the people of Sudan at large.
- The role of traditional media cannot be underrated. As commonly stated, the press and news media is the Fourth Estate. And this from the discovery of radio waves transmission and invention of the radio transistor. And still today, many of the citizens of the IGAD region and beyond rely on radio for information, especially in cross border areas. The same applies for television in urban and semi-urban areas. Newspapers abound in the streets of our cities. Besides, all your media outlets are today online and distribute content via social media platforms as well. You are the shapers of opinions, the influencers towards one direction or another, the makers of kings and queens. Modern history has registered numerous instances where media had a direct and obvious effect on the fate of communities, peoples and countries.
- The media outlets you are leading must have been reporting on the situation in Sudan and how preoccupied we are at IGAD about it; all the efforts by our Heads of State and Government and our partners in securing peace and stability in Sudan and other parts of our region; the notably home-grown achievements registered in advancing peace and harmony too.
- I encourage you to keep on reporting about the challenges we are confronted to in such a way people are made aware of these for the purpose of addressing them.
- I encourage you to widen your coverage beyond the national boundaries and go regional to tell our story/stories to each other and to the rest of the world. It is in this respect that IGAD Secretariat brought you together today, among other things.
- One of the main outcomes of this meeting is the revival of the IGAD National Public Media Digital Platform that was established in 2017. The signing of the MoU, you have worked on back in time, will contribute to formalising ties between your media outlets.
- By availing news material to each other, you will be speaking the voice of the region. And just as a concrete example, I hope that Radio TV, La Nation newspaper covering this meeting today will agree to availing what they have in their cameras to the media outlets in this room; in such a way ENA, UBC, SSBC, SNTV …feature our meeting as a news item tomorrow in their home countries.
- In essence, the MoU and the digital platform we are contemplating are means for the IGAD story to be told, and for the national media to link up with counterparts to go regional for multilateral matters involving IGAD member countries.
- IGAD Secretariat is ready to work with you for the provision of a digital platform to enable this endeavour.
- And this is not the first time we are partnering; the news agencies and newspapers in the room do have media practitioners accredited to IGAD. This is another sign of the strong, lasting and quality cooperation we do envisage. I am pleased to be receiving the letters accrediting your designated media personnel to IGAD in a short symbolic ceremony that will follow this opening session.
- In conclusion, I would like to thank all of you for your commitment to the promotion of peace, security, good governance, and development in our region. We look forward to working with you to achieve our common goals and objectives.
Download the attached Speech in PDF below