The Minister of State for ICT – National Guidance, Kabbyanga Godfrey Baluku has announced the appointment of a task force on Government Communications and National Guidance.
The first of its kind in Uganda, the task force will be work with Ministry of Information Communication Technology to ensure that government communications are consistent, relevant and comprehensible.
The Uganda Government has suffered a significant loss of trust among a substantial population due to uncoordinated communications. Increasingly, the country has witnessed scenes of Government officials contradicting themselves or communicating different positions on policy and Government programmes. In some cases, officials criticize one another. As a result, public confidence in government communications is lost, creating a gap filled by alternative media sources and fake news. Additionally, the Government’s communications are usually delayed due to the absence of a mechanism to quickly reach a common position by the responsible Ministries, Departments & Agencies and Local Governments and communicate this position accurately and timely. Consequently, speculation and misinformation thrive on closing this gap, primarily through alternative communication channels, misleading the local and international people. To mitigate the above challenges, fostering effective communication is crucial, especially as Uganda implements critical national, regional and global plans, programmes, and policies to improve the quality of people’s lives. These include Vision 2040 and associated National Development Plan III, Agenda for Sustainable Development, East African Common Market Protocol and the NRM Manifesto (2021-26). However, their success depends on how much they are understood and appreciated by the majority of Ugandans. Therefore, the focus has been placed on revamping Government communications by addressing the identified communication and national guidance challenges. A taskforce has been formed to guide the Ministry of Information Communication Technology to ensure that Government communications are consistent, relevant and understandable. The taskforce will also provide input in the formulation of the National Guidance program. Led by the marketing and communications expert, Prof Arthur Sserwanga, the Taskforce includes distinguished communications professionals from public and private sectors, who have extensive experience in mindset change and communications.
The task force will set out how the government will deliver communications across the Uganda and internationally, with the overarching ambition to help the country recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kabbyanga said the formation of the task force will disruptively change how government communicates.
“With experts from the biggest brands in Uganda, finally the government can tap into the wide portfolio of skills that make up the task force,” he said.
Among other objectives, the task force will:
Assist, in an advisory capacity, the ministry of ICT in creating an Integrated Marketing and Communications strategy for the government of Uganda. Special focus will be on behavioural change communications and formulation of Information Education and Communication materials.
Work with MoICT & NG to supervise the implementation of the proposed Integrated Branding & Communications strategy and ensure the involvement of all sectors, i.e. public sector and the private sector.
Enhance collaborations between Government and Media to enhance Government communications and national guidance
Support all efforts to spur patriotism in Uganda
Foster collaborations with International Partners in liaison with their respective consulates/embassies in a deliberate effort to dictate the Uganda narrative.
The Permanent secretary in the ministry of ICT, Dr Aminah Zawedde said: “As government, it’s extremely important that our communications reflect the multi-cultural and multi-faceted society that we serve. I am confident this task force will ace at this assignment.”
|Prof Arthur Sserwanga||Chairperson||Prof Arthur is a professor at Makerere University Business School. He previously served as Vice-Chancellor at Mutesa 1 Royal University, Dean of Faculty of Commerce, Dean Faculty of Distance and Vocational Education at Makerere University Business School.
He has 26years’ work experience in the education and business sectors. He is a member of High-Impact, High-Value Associates, an entrepreneurship consulting network. He has authored a number of several journal articles, book chapters, books, working papers and case studies.
|Marcella Karekye||Vice-Chairperson||Marcella is the Special Presidential Assistant on Communication & also serves as the Director Government Citizen Interaction Centre (GCIC).
GCIC provides timely, cost-effective and data-driven communication between Government and citizens to enable service delivery, policy formulation, and citizen participation in governance.
|Daudi Ochieng||Member||Daudi Ochieng is the Head of Communications for Malaria Consortium, Uganda office.
Daudi has more than 15 years of experience in designing and implementing an integrated marketing and communication campaigns for social and behaviour change.
Daudi is also an experienced Radio and TV Producer with over nine years of active production experience.
|Carol Kagezi||Member||Carol is the Community Programs Manager at MoTIV Uganda.
Carol is an experienced media professional with a demonstrated history of working in the media production industry. Skilled in reporting, broadcast journalism, web design, editing, and management. Strong arts and design professional with a Bachelor of Journalism focused in Writing, Editing and Photojournalism from Rhodes University.
|Moses Watasa||Member||Moses is the Commissioner for Communication & Dissemination at the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance.
Moses supports the Permanent Secretary & Minister to formulate & implement policies on communication, information dissemination & media management. Moses is responsible for planning, aligning communication plans & budgets with national priorities under NDP 3, & the NRM government manifesto.
|Vanessa Ucanda||Member||Vanessa is the public affairs and communications manager at Coca-Cola Beverages Africa.
Experienced communications and public affairs professional with a demonstrated history of working in the consumer segment of the Ugandan market. She is skilled in, enterprise and community development, sponsorship, corporate communications, regulatory affairs, stakeholder relations and change management.
|Albert Mucunguzi||Member||Albert is the Chief Operating Officer at TBWA Uganda.
Albert is a result-oriented digital marketing professional, with proven success devising and delivering Return On Investment-driven campaigns for a range of companies across multiple verticals in Uganda and within the region.
Albert boasts professional experience spanning information technology, marketing and communication as well as journalism.
|Hairah Kibuuka||Member||Hairah is the Managing Director, Sharz – Borderless Study Consults.
Hairah is a seasoned marketing and advertising professional with a strong passion for brand strategy development and project execution.
|Cedric Babu||Member||Cedric is an exceptionally high caliber public relations, business development and communications management professional operating at strategic level with over 15 years’ experience in the Public Relations, Media and Communications. Studious and passionate about communications, marketing, and PR and how it can be used to transform lives, with a deep understanding of the industry landscape.
|Mariam Jjumba||Member||Mariam is the Managing Director at Holic Pads.
Mariam is a healthcare executive, business development and marketing professional adept at improving the bottom line and enabling the achievement of full business potential by delivering transformational and visionary leadership to health care organizations.
|Flavia Opio||Member||Flavia is a Business Analyst at the National Information Technology Authority-Uganda (NITA-U) She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Information Technology and a Bachelors of Arts majoring in International Relations from Makerere University in Uganda.
She has over 10 years of experience in designing and overseeing the implementation of Information Communications Technology (ICT) related projects in both public and private sector organizations. As a Business Analyst with the National Information Technology Authority – Uganda (NITA-U), she is instrumental in supporting Government organizations to analyze, assess, document and quantify the level of effort required to improve their productivity as well as efficiency.
|Steven Kirenga||General Secretary||Steven is the Corporate Communications Lead at the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA).
Steven has over fifteen (15) years of experience in strategy creation & execution, strategic communications management, consumer & business/enterprise marketing experience, developing and implementing profitable customer value propositions to the market to drive sales and revenue whilst building long-lasting relationships with customers. I am driven by the mission to contribute to the achievement of sustainable national development through developing and implementing business-driven, citizen-focused, communications strategies; building and motivating teams, managing effective partnerships and stakeholder relations.
Steven led NITA-U’s efforts to build strategic relationships with Ministries, Departments & Agencies, parliamentarians, development partners, technology partners, financial sector, civil society and other key partners in support of NITA-U’s vision to have Lives transformed through e-services delivery
|Pearl Natamba||Member||Pearl is a Communications Officer-Ministry of ICT & National Guidance
She is a communication specialist with 7 years of extensive experience in public relations, advertising and marketing, customer care, news reporting and writing. She possesses the comprehensive skill set and understanding necessary to effect positive, overreaching outcomes for organizations.
|Brandy Valentine Azeirwe||Member||Brandy is a Communications Officer-Ministry of ICT & National Guidance.
Brandy is a highly-skilled communication professional with demonstrated experience in executing complex tasks in various sectors.
Specifically skilled in Corporate Social Responsibility, Journalism, Corporate Communications, and Social Media, Behavior Change Communication and development of communication strategies.