UAE: IGCF 2021 will look to the past to determine future of government communication

Afkar Abdullah /Sharjah Filed on September 6, 2021
Supplied photo

The two-day forum will bring together 79 experts in communication from 11 Arab and foreign countries and includes 31 events

The 10th edition of the International Government Communication Forum (IGCF) will apply lessons from the past to determine the future of government communication.

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, the IGCF 2021 is scheduled for September 26 and 27 and will be held at Expo Centre Sharjah.

The International Government Communication Centre (IGCC), organisers of the forum and a subsidiary of Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB), on Monday announced that the two-day event will bring together 79 experts in communication from 11 Arab and foreign countries to discuss innovative crisis management mechanisms and the future of government communication.

During the press conference, Tariq Saeed Allay, director-general of SGMB, outlined the two factors that represent the essence of IGCF 2021, which bears the slogan ‘Historic Lessons, Future Ambitions’.

The first is the role of UAE’s media professionals, which has gone beyond reporting on the forum’s activities to becoming the forum’s partners in formulating its culture and directions. The second factor, he said, confirmed the importance of the readiness of media and communication teams to adapt to unprecedented transformations across sectors.

“We have all followed the sharp changes in cultural, economic and social sectors worldwide,” Allay said. “The central focus of the 10th edition of IGCF is to monitor the role of government communication amid these transformation and measure its ability to lead and influence their results, drawing on the lessons of history to create a stable and prosperous future.”

He added that the inspirational talks, training programmes, discussions and live interactive sessions that mark the IGCF 2021 agenda will equip nations with the indispensable tools and knowledge to shape their future-readiness in the event of any crisis.

The forum include 31 events, featuring seven panel discussions, five inspirational talks, five training workshops and 12 interactive programmes.

> Notable figures

Several notable figures are set to participate in the region’s leading event, including Omar Sultan Al Olama, UAE Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence; Adel bin Abdul Rahman Al Asumi, Speaker of the Arab Parliament; Alsaad Al Menhali, editor-in-chief of National Geographic; Craig Oliver, veteran British editor and media executive; and Dr. Abdulaziz al Musallam, Chairman of the Sharjah Institute for Heritage, among others.

> Panel discussions

Over the two days, prominent experts will present diverse and thought-provoking perspectives on a variety of topics, such as ‘How to break the hold of conspiracy theories’, ‘Viewer versus entertainment: Who is watching who?’ and ‘The future relevance of government communication tools: As assessment’.

> Inspirational talks

A line-up of eminent personalities will deliver talks that highlight contemporary topics of strategic importance to the audience. On Day 1, Omar Farook, Bahraini social media influencer and filmmaker, will leading a session titled ‘Communicating with the general public’.

On Day 2, Dr Mohamed Hamad Al Kuwaiti, head of cyber security in the UAE Government, will delve into the significance of cyber security.

> Specialised workshops

IGCF 2021 will offer a strong framework for upskilling professionals through two training workshop held on both days. These include ‘Podcasting: Reach your audience anywhere’ and ‘Create and manage winning content on social media’.

> On the sidelines

The main interactive activities include ‘The Fifth Generation of Ideas’ as part of the Arab Youth Forum; a debate on influencers’ role titled ‘Infodemic’; ‘Misleading news in the time of the coronavirus’; and a session for journalists titled ‘Journalism’s prospects’.

> IGCF’s 10-year vision

Allay also unveiled a strategic 10-year plan of IGCF, announcing that the forum will mark a ‘Government Communication and Media Day’ every year, launch a professional licence project for government communication, issue a refereed scientific journal in the field of government communication, and develop indicators to measure the impact of communication on the positive practices of the public.

He also announced that the forum would establish the Arab Network for Government Communications, issue a guide to crisis management and a second guide for professional controls and ethical standards in government communication.

Afkar Abdullah

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