INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: Speaker Program On Political Marketing Resonates

Published: Tue 2 Oct 2007 01:50 PM
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RR RUEHLMC
DE RUEHLGB #0883 2751350
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 021350Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY KIGALI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4727
INFO RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 0142
RUEHJB/AMEMBASSY BUJUMBURA 0148
RUEHDR/AMEMBASSY DAR ES SALAAM 0961
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 1717
RUEHKI/AMEMBASSY KINSHASA 0290
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0110
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 1001
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0330
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORP 0052
UNCLAS KIGALI 000883
SIPDIS
SIPDIS
DEPARTMENT FOR AF/PD PETER COZZENS; AF/C MADELINE
SEIDENSTRICKER; DRL BRUCE CONNUCK AND STUART CRAMPTON
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KDEM KPAO PHUM RW
SUBJECT: SPEAKER PROGRAM ON POLITICAL MARKETING RESONATES
WITH POLITICAL PARTIES AND PUBLIC
REF: 07 KIGALI 00366
1. Summary. University of Vermont Professor Edward McMahon
completed on Saturday, September 29 a highly successful IIP
speaker program on the role of political parties in a
democratic society. McMahon's program included individual
calls on each of the nine political parties represented in
Rwanda's parliament, a lecture to 300 students and faculty at
the Free University of Kigali (ULK), a one-day workshop on
political party debate, and a two-day workshop on political
marketing. McMahon's visit, which came exactly one year in
advance of the country's next parliamentary elections,
generated strong interest from program participants and the
media. The program served to highlight the USG's continued
interest in and support for Rwanda's democratic transition
while imparting practical skills that can be used to
strengthen the role political parties play in Rwandan
society. End Summary.
2. Name of Speaker/Date of Program: Edward McMahon,
September 22-29, 2007
3. Summary of topics addressed/audiences reached: McMahon
spoke on three topics: the upcoming U.S. presidential
election; political party debate; and political marketing
(i.e., soliciting public opinion, establishing party
platforms, communicating with the public). His audience
included university students, academics, political party
representatives, and civil society leaders.
4. Audience size: McMahon engaged approximately 450 Rwandans
during the course of his program.
5. Speaker effectiveness: McMahon was able to communicate
clearly and effectively and had a knack for adjusting the
sophistication of his presentations to the knowledge level of
particular audiences. Participants at both the political
debate workshop and the political marketing workshop
complimented McMahon for his ability to utilize simple
language to explain complex ideas. McMahon's ability to
conduct programs in English and French with equal ability was
extremely helpful in tri-lingual Rwanda. McMahon, a seasoned
traveler to the region, also exercised great patience,
flexibility and good humor when his luggage failed to arrive
until four days into his program.
6. Support quality: Support from IIP was outstanding.
Administrative aspects of McMahon's program were handled
seamlessly by IIP program officer Mona Esquita.
7. Immediate results: McMahon's speaker program emphasized to
both the Government of Rwanda and to the Rwandan public that
the USG is interested the country's upcoming parliamentary
elections and willing to work in partnership with the GOR and
Rwandan society to help ensure the elections are free, fair,
and meaningful. The Ambassador's remarks at the opening of
the political party debate workshop, which emphasized both
progress thus far in the reintroduction of multiparty
politics in Rwanda and the need for further steps to make the
multiparty system meaningful, were widely covered by the
Rwandan media, including TV and radio. McMahon's subsequent
political marketing workshop provided the political parties
with some of the basic tools they will need to conduct
serious campaigns. All nine political parties participated
in the workshops, and the debate among them was vigorous and
sustained.
8. Press placement: TV Rwanda, Radio Rwanda, and two private
radio stations covered the opening of the political debate
workshop. State-run Radio Rwanda interviewed McMahon and PAO
concerning the workshop and the overall purpose of his visit
to Rwanda. Members of the written press also took part in
the political debate workshop.
9. Long-term results: Post organized McMahon's program with
the assistance of Rwanda's Consultative Forum of Political
Parties. The Forum has already expressed its interest in
collaborating on further training programs in advance of next
year's elections.
ARIETTI
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