Former Special Assistant to the President for press and public relations Amos Chanda says Zambia has potential and good stories to tell about itself which has not been the case, unfortunately.
Mr Chanda who is also a communications consultant was speaking at the ongoing World Communication Forum Africa when he made a presentation on territorial and country branding as a driver of development-“branding strategies to put your country on the map”.
He compared Zambia to other countries that used a negative story and turned it into a positive one while doing everything possible to maintain, defend and protect their country’s interests and integrity.
“Rwanda for example has emerged as a preeminent example of national branding despite significant fault lines within its society. Not even the 1994 genocide has stood in their way, they have instead used the genocide as the starting point to showcase the rebirth of a new Rwanda” Mr. Chanda observed.
On the other hand, Mr. Chanda expressed worry that Zambia, with more comparative advantages than most African countries, has not done much to exploit its massive selling points due to lack of effective communication.
“Much of what we sell to the world has not been done with dedicated unconscious effort. We can be more proud. Zambia in the Sun, Zambia the Real Africa, our unique values, embedded in diversity, our tourism, Zambia the beacon of peace in a rather troubled neighbourhood, our copper, among other positive attributes” he observed.
He further observed that Zambia’s communication strategy is sometimes incoherent and the mixed messaging especially in the face of falsehoods on the digital platforms does not Brand Zambia but disadvantages it from getting on the world map.
Mr. Chanda said to confront this problem, Zambia must get into all these blind spots, the often large swathes of ungoverned spaces where “Brand Zambia” suffers incredible damage.