Sharjah – MENA Herald: Sharjah Media Centre (SMC), the media arm of Sharjah Government and organiser of the annual International Government Communication Forum (IGCF), has announced that preparations are in full swing for the upcoming edition. Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, IGCF 2016 will run from March 20-21 at the Expo Centre Sharjah, under the theme ‘Towards More Progressive Societies’.

SMC has revealed that dedicated organising committees have been established to oversee specific responsibilities and requirements. The Operations Committee in conjunction with the Protocol Committee will oversee technical and logistical support for the dignitaries, delegates and guests of the forum. The Media Committee will aid the local, Arab and international media institutions and provide them with all required material and up-to-date information on IGCF 2016. This committee will also be responsible for tracking the coverage of the event across different media platforms. As for the advertising and marketing function and all related issues, they are being managed by the Events Committee.

Jawaher Al-Naqbi, Manager of the International Government Communication Forum 2016, said: “The fifth edition of the forum will be packed with discussions on a number of critical issues and topics. The rigorous preparations by the various organising committees will ensure a highly impactful event, in keeping with Sharjah’s long history of successfully hosting Arab, regional and international events, exhibitions and conferences.”

SMC has also announced the participation of a delegation of students from leading GCC universities. Some of the prominent participating universities include King Saud University (Saudi Arabia), the University of the Gulf (Kuwait), the Sultan Qaboos University (Oman), the Qatar University (Qatar), and the University of Bahrain (Kingdom of Bahrain), in addition to select higher education institutions across the United Arab Emirates and the wider region. The student participants will represent their respective universities’ faculties of journalism, media, communication, political science, and international relations.

In a bid to develop students’ interest and hone their capabilities in this important domain, SMC will introduce participating students to best-in-class government communication practices in the region and the world at large. IGCF 2016 will familiarise the students with a wide range of political, economic, social, cultural, health issues and educate them on effectively addressing these issues using relevant government communication tools. Student participants at IGCF 2016 will also gain the opportunity to interact with officials and experts in the field of government communication – an exposure that will significantly add value to their graduation projects and case studies.

The Manager of IGCF 2016 added: “Since the inaugural edition of the forum in 2012, we have paid particular attention to our student participants from universities across the region. In the past editions, they proved highly valuable at the forum’s sessions and their efforts as part of the organising committees were greatly appreciated. This year too, we are pleased to host a group of students specialising in government communication and provide them with the opportunity to attend several thought sessions and participate proactively with their comments and enquiries.”

The first of its kind in the Arab region, the International Government Communication Forum is an important global event that convenes decision-makers, experts and stakeholders in government communication from around the world. It is a transparent platform for raising important issues and discussing communication-specific trends in order to develop recommendations and resolutions that can help governments and people involved in the field of government communication to enhance their performance and scope of work. The forum seeks to achieve greater convergence in the relationship between governments and the public to ensure sustainable development.