By Amb. Emmanuel Mwamba
The Africa Centres for Diseases Control and Prevention ( Africa CDC) is an African Union initiative
Africa CDC strengthens the capacity and capability of Africa’s public health institutions as well as partnerships to detect and respond quickly and effectively to disease threats and outbreaks, based on data-driven interventions and programmes.
Africa CDC has Regional Coordination Centres ( RCC) and Zambia hosts the coordination centre for the Southern Africa catchment area.
The Southern Africa RCC manages partnerships with ten Member States in the region comprising Angola, Botswana, eSwatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Last week, the Africa CDC was launching the ‘Saving Lives and Livelihoods ‘ the Southern Africa regional initiative. The high-level event took place at Mulungushi International Conference Centre.
This is the Covid-19 vaccine intervention in the region.
When time came for the Minister of Health, Hon.Sylvia Masebo to make her presentation, she began reading a speech about the launch of the HIV and AIDS advocacy campaign with the call to accelerate prevention and ending HIV/AIDS in children by 2030.
This clearly was a wrong speech, a speech she read a few days earlier at an event graced by the First Lady, Mrs. Mutinta Hichilema.
It was an embarrassing moment and awkward time in front of the Guest of Honour and international guests, as she called for a correct speech that took ‘forever’ to arrive!
ANYONE CAN READ A SCRIPT, BUT LEADERS CHAMPION IDEAS
I have always had difficulties to read and deliver written speeches.
I feel that reading a speech diminishes my ability to speak with personal conviction and I feel that I lose the audience and fail to enlighten and inspire it.
I choose bullet points as a guide to help me deliver the ideas and speak to them.
I know that reading a speech word-for-word, has its own advantages and disadvantages.
I am a great believer in the speech commandment; “Thou shalt not read thy speech.”
“Probably the worst of all public speaking sins is the temptation to disappear into your notes and read, as opposed to speak, to your audience. If they wanted to be read to, you could’ve just sent them an email with your speech content.”!
But as a speech writer myself, I want my leaders to deliver the written speech well.
In writing a speech, I imagine the audience and promote the content with such an audience in mind.
You don’t want the speech delivered like a robocall! But a speech delivered with interest and engaging with the audience.
DELIVERING A SPEECH
Speaking with conviction as a leader is a valuable characteristic.
For leaders, reading speeches is an inevitable task. However, having a prior sight or read of the draft speech is extremely important.
This helps in the leader’s delivery of the speech.
To achieve this, the leader must participate in the ideas and broad framework of the draft speech.
This is a beginning of many drafts.
When a final draft is ready, a thorough overview is required before it is sent for printing.
In Government Ministries, the Permanent Secretary and his Directors usually are the speech writers and its important to involve the Minister at draft stage.
Clearly, preparation is key.
THE MASEBO MISHAP
In the case of the Masebo mishap, many things went wrong.
Preparations appear to have been inadequate.
And other copies of the speech were unavailable.
Let me emphasize that it is imperative for the Minister to read the speech as he/she delivers complex ideas and government policy position.
However in her case where the Head of State was Guest of Honour, a distant reference to the event of the day and some basic details about the initiative would have been adequate.
This she could have done even without the speech.
The details and government’s policy position was saved for the big speech to be delivered by the Guest of Honour who was the Head of State.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of Melo Media Zambia.
© 2022 copyright all reserved Melo Media Zambia | Email: [email protected] | www.melomediazambia.com | WhatsApp Only: +260969535044