African PR Industry Unites Around New Ethical Vision

ICCO has endorsed the PR Gaborone Declaration, launched today at the African Public Relations Association (APRA) Conference in Botswana. The Declaration has been designed to manage ethical challenges in PR practice across Africa and beyond. Nkechi Alli-Balogun, CEO at NECCI proposed a statement for ratification by APRA members as part of a progressive and ambitious agenda, which will pave the road ahead for PR in Africa.

The Gaborone Statement 2018 reads:

“Public Relations is a relationship management function that fosters understanding and unity, strengthens diversity, builds a strong brand and encourages good governance”

The clear, concise statement will inform and educate those working outside of PR as well as guide those within the sector. Throughout the conference, challenges including mistrust of media and governments, fake news and the fallout from the Bell Pottinger scandal have been confronted head on. By committing to this declaration and cementing it into the minds of businesses and politicians across the content, PR agencies and practitioners can boldly shape perceptions of Africa, and shift focus back to telling the multitude of positive stories taking place.

APRA is a member of ICCO and has already signed up to the Helsinki Declaration, which commits professionals to act under ten ethical principles. The Helsinki Declaration was created by collaboration from 40 national and regional PR associations, including APRA.

ICCO welcomes the new Gaborone Declaration and together with APRA will be seeking to spread and implement its message across Africa, alongside the Helsinki Deceleration.

ICCO Chief Executive Francis Ingham welcomed the Gaborone Declaration tweeting it was “an excellent African-owned imitative”. Ingham has been speaking at the APRA Botswana Conference about the importance for industry bodies to be tough on bad ethical practice, no matter how big or powerful the organisation may be. Bell Pottinger’s expulsion from the UK’s PRCA, at which Ingham is Director General, provides an illustration of how an industry really can take a stand for what is right.

To find out more about the Gaborone Declaration, please contact

To find out more about the Helsinki Declaration, please contact