Planning seeks public participation

  • 14 January, 2019

Development planning minister Tlohelang Aumane says media plays a pivotal role in educating, entertaining as well as informing the public on socio-economic and political issues.

When officiating a media sensitisation workshop on Friday January 11 in Maseru, Aumane said it was through the media that people become aware of the importance of national and international development issues as well as to understand various obstacles in the process of development.
He said true democracy is predicated on social participation and accountability saying he believes that there is a lot of information on various development programmes that are being pursued by the government of Lesotho which he said are yet to be disseminated to the public.
He stated that economic and financial issues can in most quarters be found to be dry saying he thinks with the support of the media we can communicate better and create interest so that the larger population is conversant with economic development issues and agenda of Lesotho.
He noted that equally in the process of policy, programme and project development and implementation they have to ensure extensive public participation, scrutiny and feedback so that they can continuously improve and provide demand driven services and achieve the required impacts saying that the transformation of the media sector especially social media offers various platforms that can allow broad participation and to reach out to all stakeholders and communities.
“Since the ministry is at the centre of coordinating economic development efforts in Lesotho, it will be important to share with you the mandate, vision and mission of the ministry as well as the functions of its seven departments. I have no doubt that this will take our relationship to greater heights because mutual cooperation and better understanding between us will be strengthened”, he added.
He indicated that media has recently come under scrutiny given its advancement of information and communication technology saying there are now innovative and powerful ways to disseminate information with a high speed than never before adding that as a result disclosure of non-credible information can have adverse effects which are expensive to correct. “You are testimony to the fact that lack of diversity and richness in reporting result in a dull and non-vibrant environment”, he said.
He mentioned that the role of media in economic development is sometimes overlooked saying that from today onwards they will have a wealth of information, one that will position them to report on issues pertaining development planning in Lesotho highlighting that a nation that does not have reliable and credible information about its development agenda is a nation in the dark. He added that factors that lead a nation to economic growth are a combination of cooperation and coordination which media must promote earnestly.
One of the participants Nkoale Ts'oana commended the ministry for the initiative saying that it has been an eye opener as he realised that they lacked a lot of information regarding the mandate of the ministry.
He urged that all ministries partner with media so that they can be able to provide Basotho with credible and reliable information regarding development projects of Lesotho.
The workshop which was held for the first time served as an occasion for the ministry to acknowledge and appreciate the role of media in economic development and nation building as well as to find new ways to enrich media coverage and depth on economic development. It was under the theme, 'Empowering media, empowering the nation for high, sustainable, shared and inclusive economic growth because knowledge is power'.

Lena

Arnold Schwarzenegger

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger