The Association of African Universities, the apex Higher Education body in Africa hosted its maiden workshop on Communication Skills and Strategies from April 24-26, 2019 at the AAU Secretariat in Accra, Ghana.
The workshop was attended by fifty-two participants from twenty- eight Eastern, Western and Southern African Higher Education Institutions. Communication /PR Officers and Project Administrators of Centres under the World Bank funded Africa Centres of Excellence (ACE) Project were not left out. The ACEs that participated include: ACE in Sustainable Mining, Zambia; ACE for Infectious Diseases of Humans & Animals, Zambia;ACE in Neglected tropical Diseases, Nigeria; West African Genetic Medicine Centre, Ghana; Centre for Dryland Agriculture, Nigeria; Center for food Technology and Research, Nigeria; Pan African Materials Institute, Nigeria, among others.
The workshop created the platform for Communications and Public Relations Officers from various universities and ACEs to be equipped with innovative strategies and build on their skills to better execute their roles. Participants also built networks and forged partnerships with their colleagues and industry players that were present.
Professor Audrey Gadzekpo, Dean, School of Communications at the University of Ghana and Dr. Abena A. Yeboah-Banin, Senior lecturer at the University of Ghana School of Communications were lead facilitators for the workshop. Other supporting facilitators were; Nodumo Dhlamini, Millicent Afriyie, Felicia Kuagbedzi and Meshack Sowah all of the AAU Directorate of ICT and Communications Services.
Participants were introduced to the following modules: Principles and Role of a Communications Expert; Creating visibility for Institutions; Developing Effective Communication Action Plan and Strategies; Website Content Management; Use of various social media tools; Importance of branding to Higher Eduaction Instituions; Designing Communication and branding materials such as flyers, etc. Other modules handled at the workshop included Improving internal and external communication as well as media relations. Practical studio sessions on media relations were also carried out at the AAU Television Studio.
At the end of the training workshop, participants expressed gratitude to the AAU for organizing such an enlightening training session and called for more of such capacity building workshops from time to time to help refresh and sharpen their skills. Several recommendations were made in respect to the above mentioned topics and participants pledged to utilize their newly acquired knowledge in the execution of their roles.
The event was opened and closed by the Secretary- General of the Association of African Universities – Professor Etienne Ehouan Ehile.