The Africa Centre of Excellence (ACE) Communication Officers from all the centers in Africa, has attended a workshop on communication skills and strategies, held from April 26th to 29th 2023, in Abidjan the capital city of Cote d’Ivoire.
The three days programme was organized to equip participants with the necessary tools in developing diverse communication strategies and effective implementation methods as well as best practices in internal and external communication strategies that raise motivation and productivity as well as enhancing visibility for the Centres of Excellence.
At the workshop, some communication officers showcased what they had produced for the centre they represent to enhance visibility
They brought in newsletter publications and souvenirs customized for their centres while others wore uniform T-shirts to show teamwork and create publicity for the centre their centres.
Presentations on; Role of ACE Impact Communications Officers, The Power of Social Media, The Role of Communication Officers in Website Content Development, the WACCBIP Approach to SciComm etc., were made to inform and enlighten the participants on how to improve their centre’s visibility by using different techniques.
The Communication Manager for the West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP), in the University of Ghana, Andrew Muniru Nantogmah, in his presentation at the workshop, revealed the communication strategy that has been used in his centre, that has helped to get public awareness and funds for his centre.
Andrew Nantogmah, shared with other Communication Officers how he and his communication team created a robust and functional Communications and Public Engagement Unit (CPU) that has made the WACCBIP’s research output and innovation, meaningful and impactful to society.
He said that the CPU is the bridge between the scientific world and the social world, encouraging other communication officers to adopt the approach of creating a functional communications unit that will further strengthen the activities of the centre.
Nantogmah stressed the need for community and public engagement activities and outreaches, stating that community engagement is a multi–faceted process of working collaboratively with a specific group of people on a shared goal or common interest.
The workshop exposed a lot of other participants from other centres to new ideas they have never tried before.
Communication Officers were urged to be independent and not rely on the university media for assistance to avoid being stranded and disappointed, as some of the university’s programmes may clash with the centres events.
Participants including some staff of ACETEL learnt various ways of creating visibility and earning funds for their centres.