Shaikh Sultan Bin Ahmad Al Qasimi and Tariq Saeed Allay during an interactive gathering to announce details of the International Government Communication Forum at Sharjah. Image Credit: Atiq Ur Rehman/Gulf News

Sharjah: The upcoming eighth edition of International Government Communication Forum (IGCF) in Sharjah will feature prominent speakers from the US, such as legendary TV host Larry King, filmmaker Richard Williams and physician-author Dr David Katz, among 70 speakers from 15 countries.

Details of IGCF 2019, scheduled for March 20 and 21 at Expo Centre, were revealed on Monday by government media officials at an interactive press gathering at Al Majaz Amphitheatre in Sharjah. IGCF is held under the patronage of His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.

Organised by International Government Communication Centre (IGCC), part of Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB), the latest edition of IGCF will be held under the theme of ‘Behavioural Change Towards Human Development’.

Long-term strategies

Addressing Monday’s media interaction, Shaikh Sultan Bin Ahmad Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Media Council, said the development of the human being — the individual — leads to the development of society, government, and government communications.

“When we study the development of some countries, we see that they adopted long-term communication strategies that were consolidated through an advanced approach focused on the ‘positive change model’ applied by government entities. One important branch of this model is aimed at building positive change in the minds and outlook of communities, and empower them to partner with governments to further the country’s inclusive development project,” Shaikh Sultan Bin Ahmad said.

Also, in line with the practice of IGCF, the forum will produce recommendations and present them for consideration to the Executive Council of Sharjah and other government departments, he added.

Guest of honour?

During the gathering, the IGCF 2019 guest of honour was not revealed. Shaikh Sultan said, while pointing out that all guests are at the same level of respect, IGCF could have chosen Larry King, for example, due to his fame and stature. However, IGCF aims to keep the focus more on the topics than the speakers, he added. Shaikh Sultan said it is very hard to decide one guest of honour, but IGCF is in touch with a number of prominent personalities and a guest of honour will be announced soon.

Award entries

Also speaking at Monday’s event, Tariq Saeed Allay, Director SGMB, said IGCF received 250 entries from the UAE and Gulf countries for the annual IGCF awards.

Following Allay’s address, Jawaher Al Naqbi, Director of IGCC, said Shaikha Jawaher Bint Mohammad Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Wife of the Ruler of Sharjah, will hold an interactive session with children and youth about the qualities of leadership and how to acquire them.

IGCF 2019

When: March 20-21

Where: Expo Centre

Special sessions

American TV legend Larry King, who has over 60 years of experience in media. The Emmy and Peabody winner will offer key insights on how governments can effectively communicate with societies through leveraging media.

Another special session will see US motivational speaker, filmmaker and social activist, Richard Williams, aka Prince Ea, address the IGCF gathering.