The 10th Sharjah Government Communication Award (SGCA) celebrated exceptional achievements in the field of government communication, with a prestigious award ceremony held in the presence of H.H. Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah and Chairman of the Sharjah Media Council (SMC). The awards, organized by the Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB), were presented on the sidelines of the two-day International Government Communication Forum (IGCF), themed ‘Today’s Resources… Tomorrow’s Wealth’ and held at Expo Centre Sharjah.
The significance of acknowledging and honoring endeavors dedicated to resource conservation was highlighted during the ceremony. Tariq Saeed Allay, Director-General of SGMB, emphasized the award’s role in elevating government communication standards and providing models to address challenges in various domains, including economics, environment, society, health, and more.
Allay stated, “It is our collective duty to formulate communication strategies that are at pace with changing information trends, technologies, public perceptions and aspirations, and global events.” He underlined the evolution of government communication, emphasizing its transition from a one-sided message delivery system to a facilitator of two-way dialogue between the governing authorities and the governed.
The ceremony also featured Mohammed Jalal Al Rayssi, Director-General of the Emirates News Agency (WAM) and Chairperson of the SGCA jurors committee. He expressed gratitude to H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, for his unwavering support of initiatives like SGCA, which contribute to community advancement.
Al Rayssi remarked on SGCA’s capacity to anticipate future transformations in government communication strategies and expand its global outreach. He highlighted the award’s inclusivity, specialization, diversity in communication practices, and its recognition of innovative experiences and trends in the field.
The jury committee recommended adjustments to the award categories, including the introduction of the “Personality of the Year” category to honor influential individuals in communities for their significant impact on communication efforts. Additionally, efforts to organize specialized workshops for communication professionals to enhance their skills in utilizing smart technologies were advised.
A unique report titled “100 Innovations in Government Communications 2023” was launched by the SGMB during the ceremony. It showcased 100 examples of innovative communication approaches adopted by governments worldwide to address contemporary challenges. Jessica van Onselen, Director of Communications and Marketing at Apolitical, presented the report, emphasizing the importance of enhancing communication standards to achieve efficiency and effectiveness in government entities.
The SGCA awards were presented to various winners in categories such as “Best Spokesperson,” “Best Government Communication Team,” “Best Integrated Communication Campaign,” and “Best Communication for Reputation Building and Management,” among others. The winners included Ghannam Al Mazrouei, Secretary-General of the Emirati Talent Competitiveness Council, and Dubai Customs, among others.
Global award categories recognized outstanding contributions, with winners like the General Administration of Strategic Communication at the Saudi Ministry of Defense and the UAE’s National Library and Archives (NLA).
Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi, renowned for his six-month space mission aboard the International Space Station as part of Mission 69, received the newly established “Personality of the Year” award.
The ceremony also announced the victors of the “Universities Challenge,” held in collaboration with the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), with the “Sawab” Team from the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence emerging victorious.
The contributions of the SGCA jury members were acknowledged during the ceremony, followed by speeches from select award winners.