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Indian Ocean Rim Association Media personnel link up to enhance visibility of IORA |17 November 2017

Sixteen journalists and media personnel from the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) member states have taken part in a familiarisation visit in India.

The visit, jointly organised by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) of the Government of India in collaboration with the IORA, was aimed at creating a communication linkage for media personnel and journalists to enhance the visibility of IORA.

The IORA is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. In these days of continuously evolving economic and social milieus, media coverage and social listening have become strategic techniques to reach wider audiences. Media influence and advocacy has become the vision of many organisations. IORA is focused on exploring possibilities to develop a core media strategy with member states to further regional and worldwide advocacy.

The visit, conducted by the External Publicity Division of the MEA of the Government of India, was held from November 12-17, 2017.

The 16 members who are trying to create a network for furthering the visibility of the association are from Seychelles who was represented by U-roy Jules from Seychelles NATION,  Rasolomanana Risnalasoa Minotantely (Madagascar), David Boodhna (Mauritius), Abdulatuf Bacar (Comoros), Patience Mtshali (South Africa), Ariyananda Dombagahawatta (Sri Lanka), Farzam Vanaki (Iran), O’Brien Kimani (Kenya), Rose Mbilinyi (Tanzania), Fakri Bin Haji Awang Lah (Malaysia), Shane Wright (Australia), Mario Bento Vasco (Mozambique), Sekarsari Utami (Indonesia), Hilal Abdullah Harib Al Ghafri (Oman), Abdikarim Mursal Farah (Somalia) and project officer Daniella Labuschagne Smit from the IORA Secretariat.

All the participants also got the opportunity to interact with various media houses (Times of India), civil society, industry and youth over various locations across India. The programme also including visits to historical places and of cultural importance.

During the first visit, the delegation were able to visit the most dynamic place in India, the Taj Mahal, located in Agra and learn more about this important historical place in India.

The Taj Mahal, a mausoleum, is one of the most recognizable structures in the world. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal.

The delegates’ visits also took in the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, The National Maritime Foundation, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Gail Limited among others.

Despite the high pollution in New Delhi, the delegates were able to enjoy the good side of such beautiful country, full of potential.

The delegates were also able to interact with the joint secretary of IORA and former Indian high commissioner to Seychelles Sanjay Panda.

“Such visits for media personnel and journalists will allow for the concretisation of ideas to promote IORA and make it more visible to the world, as well as highlighting its importance. IORA needs to reach other audiences around the globe. Such important task must be undertaken by journalists and media personnel, to allow IORA to be successful, and grow each day,” he said.

The visit was also a platform to encourage cooperation and dialogue between media personnel and journalists, strengthen IORA linkages with media experts,  provide capacity building to media personnel and journalists on regional cooperation and enhance knowledge on the Indian public sector undertaking, information technology sector and other areas of interest among the IORA member states.

The association works along the lines of six priority areas demarcated by India. These priority areas have created a common ground for regional economic cooperation in Maritime Safety and Security, Trade and Investment Facilitation, Fisheries Management, Disaster Risk Management, Academic, Science and Technology and Tourism and Cultural Exchanges.

There are also two special focus areas, namely the Blue Economy and Women’s Economic Empowerment.

Seychelles joined IORA on November 15, 2011.

India and Seychelles have both distinct and unique cultures of all religions, both countries has had a great relationship and strong bond.

The Indian culture, often labelled as an amalgamation of several cultures, spans across the Indian subcontinent and has been influenced by a history that is several millennia old. Many elements of India’s diverse cultures, such as Indian philosophy and Indian cuisine, have a profound impact across the world.


By U-roy Jules








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