Malawi govt launches two websites


Image: Moses Kunkuyu. By MANA
Moses Kunkuyu

By Gregory Gondwe, Blantyre, Malawi

The government of Malawi on Monday launched two websites: the Central Office of Information (COI) website, which yet to go live, and the Malawi News Agency (MANA) website, which is now live.

Launching the facilities at Sagecoa Golden Peacock Hotel in Lilongwe last night, Minister of Information and Civic Education, Moses Kunkuyu, said the objective unveiling to the whole nation and the entire world, two Information Communication Technology (ICT) related initiatives is to demonstrate government’s intention to embrace new technologies to be used as tools for disseminating and communicating public information.

“For me and my staff; today is a special day in the sense that my Ministry has opened another new chapter in its mandate of ensuring that Malawi is an informed nation at all times,” declared Kunkuyu.

He said the Central Office of Information (COI) website will be the hub of Malawi Government information and communication services.

“We are making COI the one-stop information centre for the Malawi Government,” declared Kunkuyu. “The COI will therefore provide a platform for the entire Malawi Government sStructure to communicate to and inform the nation and the world about the policies and programmes that the Government is implementing.”

Kunkuyu also disclosed that the COI website will also facilitate the free flow of information and communication between the Government and the Citizenry as well as providing a forum for feedback from the people to their Government on all Government policy matters and decisions.

“On the other hand, while we have all known MANA as the Malawi Government's news gathering and dissemination organ under the Ministry of Information, we have failed to recognise that MANA is the only media house in the country that is available full time in all Malawi's 28 districts,” he said.

The Information Mminister said the MANA website will now offer a platform for newsmakers, especially those based in the rural areas to be heard just like those in urban centres and cities.

The launch of these two websites, Kunkuyu said, reaffirms once more that the Government of President Joyce Banda is founded on openness and disclosure, rather than secrecy and concealment.  

“It is through initiatives like these that the Government, through my Ministr,y is according the nation an opportunity to know fully what it is doing and gives an opportunity to all Malawians to provide their feedback on all Government undertakings,” he said.

Kunkuyu said Government would therefore like to see many Malawians engaging it through various ICT tools such as the two websites. 
He said this is consistent with the views of Tim Berners Lee, the founder of the World Wide Web.

Kunkuyu said while accepting that his creation had spurred true democratic values Berners-Lee predicted: ‘Ultimately, a more powerful democracy and whole new forms of government but at the same time for each person a self-expression and potential to growth’.

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