Speaker of the National Assembly of Zambia, Rt. Hon. Nelly B. K Mutti, MP has been conferred with the status of Honorary Fellow of the Africa Public Relations Association (APRA) in appreciation of the role of the National Assembly in the legislative process towards the enactment of the ZIPRC Act No. 11 of 2022 which professionalized Public Relations and Communication in Zambia. The status of Honorary Fellow was conferred on the Speaker by the APRA President Mr. Yomi Badejo-Okusanya when representatives of Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management, Africa Public Relations Association and the Zambia Institute of Public Relations and Communication paid a courtesy call on her, on Thursday 18th May, 2023 at Parliament Building in Lusaka.

Speaker Mutti said she was elated to be honoured by APRA and that she was accepting the honour on behalf of all Members of Parliament. She informed the gathered that Zambia placed great value on communication and the quality of it and that is why the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr. Hakainde Hichilema assented to the Zambia Institute of Public Relations and Communication Bill, in August 2022. She added that the piece of legislation which professionalized Public Relations and Communication will among other regulations ensure that only suitably qualified persons are licensed to practice Public Relations and Communication in Zambia.

Hon Mutti also stated that she is optimistic that other countries in Africa will professionalize Public Relations and Communication so that PR professionals can project the correct image of Africa by telling the correct African narrative. The Speaker further challenged the Africa Public Relations Association, the umbrella body of Public Relations and communication practitioners in Africa to ensure that communication practitioners champion the African agenda through their public relations and communication work.

Meanwhile, APRA President, Yomi Badejo-Okusanya reiterated the Association’s commitment to selling a positive image of Africa in order to change the African tale. He commended President Hakainde Hichilema for signing into Law, the ZIPRC Act No.11 of 2022 and stated that Zambia will be used as an example to the rest of Africa as no other country on the continent had achieved this fit.

In the same vein, the ZIPRC President, Mrs Irene Chipili expressed gratitude to the Honourable Speaker for the support that ZIPRC has been enjoying from the National Assembly of Zambia. She also made a proposal for ZIPRC to collaborate with the National Assembly of Zambia in building the capacity of constituency staff in order to enhance their service delivery to the Institution of Parliament and to the public.