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Dimensions of an Information and Communication Policy

For a national communication policy to be effective, it must attempt to be comprehensive, covering the issues that are considered relevant for the particular society. It should embrace various fields and sectors of human communication, including: traditional and indigenous cultural forms, print media, electronic/broadcast media, film, cinema, video, theatre, advertising, language development, training and technologies. These are the areas of major action, as well as possible conflict of interest that are of concern to development actors and partners at different levels. Given the various socio-economic-cultural problems facing the continent, public information and communication in Africa should increasingly become development-oriented, directed at promoting the health, and economic and social well-being of the people, educating them on their civic rights and responsibilities, as well as empowering them to understand and implement solutions to national and community problems related to food, water, economic and entrepreneurial activities, population, environment, civic education etc. Therefore, one of the major policy issues in the development agenda of Africa, as we move forwards in the twenty-first century, must be: how to use information and communication to support development initiatives at national and local levels. One possible answer is through a national communication policy.

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