27 July 2012

Africa: Journalists Challenged On the Use of African Values

Mombasa — Catholic journalists have been challenged to highlight the use of African values in the area of peace-building and conflict prevention within their journalistic work.

In his address to the just ended four-day workshop for Catholic journalists, held in Mombasa, Kenya from July 22-26 and organized by the Union of Catholic African Press (UCAP), head of the Africa Desk at the Pontifical Council of Social Communications, Vatican, Rev Fr Javier Yameogo said in the way of mediating, African cultural sensitivities should be taken into account in using Media for Conflict Prevention and Peace Building.

"As for example "bashingantahe" process in Burundi consist for a group of elders, to present parties case repeating in different words what the parties have said, in order to make them more attentive to understand that there is something positive in what the other has said which was maybe misinterpreted," he pointed out.

We can borrow such process to African traditional wisdom. Doing so we could establish bridge between parties in conflict and open our different ethnic groups to what positive is initiated in the field by the grassroots communities, he emphasized.

The over 70 Catholic journalists, drawn from Africa and Europe, deliberated on the theme: The role of the media in peace building, conflict resolution and Good Governance.

The Catholic priest, who hails from Burkina Faso, West Africa urged the Catholic journalists to continue to support the Catholic Church in Africa and in particular in publicizing the recently published Papal document on Africae munus, which he said was more less the guideline for the pastoral programs of the Church in Africa.

"Your contribution as Catholic journalists in publicizing the document is of vital importance to the Catholic Church in Africa," he stressed.

He also added that the Vatican will always be there to support the media work on the African continent.

"But for this to yield the intended fruits, you, as Catholic journalists, should always work within the pastoral frame work of the Catholic Church," he emphasized.

Fr Yameogo presented a paper on: Why and When to use the media for conflict prevention and peace building.

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