Communications can be daunting, especially when dealing with transparency and accountability in the extractive sector. Media engagement is at the centre of this vital activity.
It is in this vein that the Mineral Production Monitoring Support Project (MPMSP) sent three of its communications and media consultants to facilitate at the Zambia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (ZEITI) Media Engagement capacity building workshop at Waterfalls Hotel in Lusaka from the 14 to the 16 of June 2017. This forms part of an agreement for the European Union to provide technical assistance to the ZEITI through the ‘loan’ of the visibility experts working on the EU-funded MPMSP project.
The capacity building workshop focussed on identifying ZEITI’s mandate and developing key messages, dealing with communications in mining, social media best practices and hands-on training in handling press conferences and interviews. The workshop concluded with a crisis communication simulation – where participants were divided into groups and asked to prepare the best possible answers to a given crisis.
Speaking at the workshop, Head of the ZEITI Secretariat Mr Siforiano Banda said the media engagement training and the technical support from the EU-funded MPMSP has greatly enhanced the capacity of EITI to engage with the media.
“It is hoped that the training will enable the ZEITI to formulate new ways of providing critical information to the public through media,” he added.
ZEITI has many stakeholders, many of whom were able to participate in the workshop. Representatives from the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development, the Chamber of Mines, the Federation of Small Scale Miners, Konkola Copper Mines, Mine Workers Union of Zambia, Centre for Trade, Policy and Development and Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) were in attendance.
Mr Banda further noted the role of new media and said “the use of digital platforms such as websites and social media plays a critical role in the dissemination of EITI information and reconciliation reports”.
The ZEITI is committed to providing information to the public on payments made by mining companies to government and revenues received by government from the mining sector.
From Reports to Results – ZEITI Communications officer Ian Mwiinga explains the importance of visualizing the data in EITI Reports