Report of the 29th African Public Relations Association (APRA) Conference in Casablanca, Morocco. May 10 – 12, 2017

The 29th African Public Relations Association (APRA) Conference recently held at the Most Events Centre, Casablanca, Morocco between 10th and 12th May 2017 was a great success. It was a gathering of PR professionals from across the continent with guest participants and facilitators from different parts of the world.

Peace and Conflict Resolution Resource Centre (PEACrEc), promoters of Military, Police, and Para-Military Public Relations Officer’s Forum (MILPOPPROF) facilitated the attendance of service personnel. This, in turn, was facilitated as a result of the relationship and projections for long-term collaboration between PEACrEc and APRA established over the past 3 years.

Following the request by PEACrEc for nominations from all the security agencies in Nigeria, and some selected parastatals of government, the Nigeria Army, Defence Headquarters, Nigeria Air Force and the Nigerian Port Authorities responded to the request and sent in representatives.

Nigeria Army was represented by Brig General SK Usman, the Director Army Public Relations, Col Omale Ochagwuba and Maj Salisu Mustapha, the Defence Headquarters was represented by Lt Cdr Olabisi Williams Ajiboye and Capt Abdullahi while the Nigeria Air Force was represented by Air Commodore Olatokunbo Adesanya, Director of Public Relations and Information, Wing Commander Joel Abioye, Wing Commander Ibrahim Bukar and Squadron Leader Mathias Tsekaa. … attended the conference from the Nigerian Port Authorities.

Col Kingsley Umoh and Miss Taiwo Tunkarimu attended as nominees of PEACrEc. There were a total of 12 sessions, dealing with contemporary issues, challenges, and prospects for PR practitioners in Africa while drawing lessons from the western economies. The conference was very engaging, interactive and consequently widely evaluated by participants as highly beneficial and enlightening.

It was noteworthy that members of the Nigerian Armed Forces were the only ones attending from the armed forces anywhere and they represented about one-third of the total Nigerian presence in terms of participants.

We therefore use this medium to appreciate the Chief of Defence Staff, the Chief of Army Staff and the Chief of Air Staff for their identifying with our major objective of building capacity in security communications and public information management. PEACrEc also seizes this opportunity to appeal to other agencies not to miss out on future gatherings such as this in order to improve and strengthen public relations and be relevant in relation to global standards. Prompt responses will always reduce the high cost of late payments and travel expenses. We look forward to receiving your delegates in Botswana come 2018.