APRA Tanzania 2022: Africa’s Public Relations Giants Converge to Reshape Continents Narrative
Delegates in the Public Relations (PR) space from across Africa are currently in Tanzania at the African Publice Realtions Conference (APRA Tanzania 2022) discussing how Public Relations can be effectively utilised as a tool to reshape Africa’s narrative in order to meet global competitiveness and glory.
The conference which features Africa’s biggest and best includes practitioners across public relations, corporate communicators, crisis management, reputation management and scholars.
In a panel discussion themed; Africa’s Resilience and Global Competitiveness, President of the African Public Relations Association (APRA), Mr. Yomi Badejo-Okusanya, said for Africa to be globally competitive, it needs its own voice.
“Africa must shape its own narrative and for that to happen, there must be a conscious and deliberate effort towards marketing Africa,” the APRA President stated.
He decried the gap between Public Relations Professionals, Governments and Africa and the African Union which he said is contributing to the condescending narrative in Africa’s estimation.
“PR needs PR, Affirmative PR, otherwise people will prize us badly. PR must be proud of our work. we must understand the value we bring to the table,” he quipped.
He stated that many out there believe that the beginning and end of PR is Media Relations.
“With due apologies to the Journalists in the house, that is why Journalists are taking over the PR job. it goes beyond that,” Badejo-Okunsaya decried.
On his part, Mr. Assah Andrew Nwabene, President, PR Society of Tanzania (PRST) believes Africa is already resilient.
“The only thing missing is how we brand ourselves. Ukraine for example is on fire but few days ago we saw the US opening its Embassy there, what does that convey to the audience? Strength, power…
“We talk so much about conflict forgetting that even in our families there is conflict but things must move, apply the good things and those values that are so important for us to tell our own story. Refocus and see how we as PR practitioners take a leading role in this charge because we know what to say, how to say it and the time to say, we are the change Africa needs to have. African is still moving, we need to make it better
“Conlict will always be and if you look at the pattern of all conflict in Africa, they are civil strife, but we call so much attention expenditure in military for examle rather than human security. We have to focus on human security as well so that the people cannot run around against their own government,” he concluded.
Also speaking, Hon Richard Kayombo, Director of Taxpayer Education, Tanzania Revenue Authority agreed that there is something so good Africa has that it is not packaging well and selling to the world.
“Apart of India and China, no other country beats us in terms of population but their economic power lies in their population. When they produce, their population alone is enough…Africa is like an Eskimo, we have a lot to offer but we are not saying it the way we should,” he observed
He commended Nigerians for showing a good example of Unity in the continent in order to portray what Africa is.
“If a Nigerian sees you in trouble, he, first of all, saves you before asking where you are from,” he noted.
The panellist agrees that if Africa must compete globally it must get its regulations, research and revelations right all of which Public Relations can serve as a tool.