Egyptian Ambassador to Malawi, Maher El- Adawy, has embarked o n a tour to the country's media houses, which has seen him visiting newsrooms at Times Group at Ginnery Corner in Blantyre and official Malawi News Agency (Mana) in Lilongwe.
Times reported that El-Adawy said for Africa-- which he described as the foundation of development-- to develop, the media have to play their rightful role to champion cooperation of African countries. He said cooperation is the prerequisite for development.
Times Group Editor-in- Chief, George Kasakula, said visits of high profile guests such as ambassadors mean that the media giant is doing a good job.
"For us, such visits mean that they see something good in us. They come to appreciate what we do; to encourage us and to tell us what we should improve on. This is encouraging," Kasakula said.
Meanwhile, Mana reports that the Egyptian Ambassador visited Mana newsroom and the e-media section in Lilongwe with the aim of appreciating the day to day operations of the agency which is under the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
"The aim of this visit was to interact with the staff working here and renew Egypt's commitment in being a partner to Mana. But most importantly, to be appraised with first hand information on the challenges this section is facing," he said in quoted reported by the agency.
According to him, reporters, photographers, editors and technicians in the section are facing challenges like that of equipment in terms of computers and field gadgets.
During the e-media section, head of e-media Chikondi Chimala told the ambassador that the section is responsible for running eight government and Mana on-line and social media accounts. These include two Facebook pages, two Twitter handlers, an Instagram account and a website.
He however said the section has a shortfall in equipment and challenges with its current content management systems.
"Some of our websites are currently static and completely out-dated and need urgent redevelopment.But one pressing issue is that some of our content management systems and related software need upgrading to make them user friendly as they were last upgraded five years ago.," he said.
Ambassador El Adawy noted that desspite the challenges; the section is also performing very well.
Deputy managing editor for Mana George Pemba said the visit reflects how the ambassador recognizes the good work his agency is doing and his interest in the welfare of the agency.
"Egypt has been helping us in various aspects like training our journalists and technicians," said Pemba.
Currently almost all giant media houses in the country including Times, The Nation, Nyasa Times, Zodiak, Capital Radio, subscribe to Mana products; which include hard news stories, soft news stories, features and photographs.