Sharjah: The 11th International Government Communication Forum (IGCF 2022) concluded on Thursday with a call for the need to communicate efficiently the ground realities and developments taking place around the world, and disclose the needs of the future in a transparent way to meet the aspirations of the youth.
Web science experts, leading AI academics and international media experts also called on governments and regulatory authorities to keep pace with the rapid developments in Web 3.0 and metaverse to keep these newly emerging virtual spaces safe for the fast-growing legion of organisational as well as individual users.
Community initiatives launched
During the two-day forum under the theme, ‘Challenges and solutions’, several Sharjah government entities launched important community-focused initiatives.
Sharjah Prevention and Safety Authority (SPSA) unveiled its initiative ‘Sharjah Occupational Safety and Health System (Sharjah OSH system)’, which aims to ensure the safety of workers and improve the concept of occupational safety.
Jointly launched by Sheikh Khalid bin Saqr Al Qasimi, chairman of SPSA, and Salem Yousef Al Qaseer, chairman of the Labour Standards Development Authority (LSDA), the newly formed Sharjah OSH system aims to determine safety standards to be followed to secure a safe working environment for workers in the emirate, and more importantly, maintain their safety while undertaking various activities in the emirate.
The Sharjah Education Council (SEC) launched the Sharjah Learning Platform ‘From Sharjah to the World’ which covers four services: early childhood services, old people services, student services and ‘our library’.
Dr. Saeed Musabah Al Kaabi, member of the Sharjah Executive Council and chairman of the SEC, said: “This platform provides a host of invaluable resources to meet the training and education needs of all target groups. This innovative learning platform is the result of more than three years of hard work and dedication.”
Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, chairman of Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), Butti Ahmed bin Darwish Al Falasi, director of Security Awareness at the General Department of Community Happiness at Dubai Police,
Hanadi Saleh Al Yafei, director of Child Safety Department (CSD), an affiliate of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs in Sharjah, highlighted the importance and opportunities of government communication.
HoW launches Speaking Library
During IGCF, the House of Wisdom (HoW) launched a new cultural initiative called “You are the Book: House of Wisdom’ Speaking Library.” Under the initiative, HoW will offer an entertaining and enriching medium of learning and will host renowned authors, intellectuals, creatives, and inspiring individuals who will share their unique experiences and journeys in one-to-one sessions with individual visitors. Public access to an online archive of the recorded sessions will be provided at a larger stage on YouTube.
Who said what?
Speaking about effective communication strategies as a key driving factor during crises, Jim Yong Kim, former president of World Bank Group, said the UAE had one of the best responses to COVID-19.
Dr. Nevin Al Kilani, Egypt’s Minister of Culture, shared her views on the role of government communication in raising awareness about the importance of the creative sectors and the need to educate the public on the value of the cultural economy within local and global economies.
Alia Al Suwaidi, director, Sharjah Government Media Bureau, highlighted the 11-year journey of IGCF in addressing global challenges, conceiving new ideas, launching initiatives, and proposing effective solutions and affirmed the pivotal role of government communications in the ability of nations to adapt to transformational challenges and achieve targets.
Jawaher Abdelhamid, Interim Head of Public Policy at Twitter MENA, said the #FeminineArabic social campaign video broadcasted by Twitter received 18 million views, asserting the powerful message of the campaign to encourage users on the platform to use appropriate vocabulary when talking about women. The campaign caters to Arabic-speaking women by introducing a particular setting that allows users to select Arabic language options to better address females.
Emirati poet Awad bin Hasoum Al Darmaki has highlighted the importance of building new channels of communication through innovative use of culture and social media.
Having the willpower to succeed and transforming it into a habit can drive people to reach for their dreams and more. This insightful and inspiring message was delivered by two globally renowned motivational speakers, Charles Duhigg (American journalist and author of best-sellers like The Power of Habit and Smarter, Faster, Better — The Secrets of Production in Life and Work) and Charlie Jabaley aka ‘Charlie Rocket,’ — music millionaire, Grammy Award Winner, brain tumour survivor who became an Iron Man athlete and philanthropist who founded Dream Machine Foundation.
A panel discussion titled ‘Economic crises — between positive containment and negative adjustment’ showcased the importance of quality crisis communication by governments in light of the economic impact of the pandemic. Younis Haji Al Khoori, under Secretary, UAE Ministry of Finance, Steve Forbes, chairman, and Editor-in-Chief, Forbes Media, Dr. Ehab Abu Aish, deputy minister of Finance for Treasury Affairs and Public Services, Egypt and Dr. Shashi Tharoor, former UN diplomat and author from India took part.