SOCIAL media should be used for the benefit of the Zambian society, says Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services Joseph Katema.
Dr Katema said social media is a platform that would help United Nations (UN) agencies and Government to educate and inform the people on serious matters such as HIV/AIDS, health and development.
He said people should use social media to interact freely with different people throughout the world regardless of geographic or demographic boundaries.
“As the world makes the transition from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015 to sustainable development goals, I would like to challenge the UN family and all development actors to be more creative and use social media effectively for the benefit of our society,” Dr Katema said.
He said the social media was fast becoming recognized as important tools in community development and general uplifting of people’s quality of life.
Dr Katema, however, said government was concerned about the rampant abuse of the social media network.
He said some people have turned social media into a platform of insults and all sorts of malice against defenceless people.
The minister was speaking yesterday when he officially opened the 2015 social good summit under a theme “connecting for good, connecting for all”.
“This is unfortunate and unproductive and it is my hope that a forum like this one (social Good Summit) provides a fertile opportunity for finding solution to these challenges,” he said.
Dr Katema said the country had witnessed massive changes that had been brought about by the advent of the social media and its innovations.
He said the fibre-optic communication systems have completely revolutionalised the communications industry and were playing a key role in the information age.
Dr Katema implored stakeholders and ordinary people to use fibre-optic communications systems to ensure that they remained connected, adding that would transform people’s lives through timely and effective dissemination of information. And United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) country director Viola Morgan encouraged the private sector to align itself to social media and government to continue developing information, communication technology (ICT) sector.
Ms Morgan said the 2014 Social Good Summit was held to address the challenges experienced at present that would lead the people to global systemic change. She said the social good summit would help to shed light on the future and post-MDGs and embrace the sustainable development paradigm.
“The social good summit is a two-day conference examining the impact of technology and new media on social good initiative around the world,” Ms Morgan said.