BURUNDI'S minister for East African Community (EAC) Affairs Leontine Nzeyimana has lauded efforts of the creation of a regional data base of pictures portraying the deepening economic and political integration of the five-nation East African countries.
The five EAC Partner States are: Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania (founding members) which were later joined by Rwanda and Burundi in 2007. "The pictorial date base is critical to show the immense potential of the EAC countries," she said while receiving a delegation of the EAC-GIZ team of photographers in Bujumbura, Burundi.
The Team has already visited Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda. The Team was expected to wrap up the two-week mission in Uganda over the weekend. The Burundi Minister hailed the inaugural EAC-GIZ initiative, underlining that it was timely and would greatly help to intensify regional integration process.
Currently, she noted, the region lacks high-resolution pictorial demonstration of the concerted EAC efforts, especially those practically portraying the actual EA integration of the people, goods, movements and services. "A picture speaks one thousand words.
Those doubting the integration can practically believe that EAC integration is actually real and intense," she said, adding that positive pictorial images would help attract investors and consolidate the solidarity of the East Africans. "The EAC project is a reality and we all back it up for mutual benefit and advancement," she stressed.
The EAC-GIZ photographers are capturing unique features of the Partner States which will be posted on the EAC website and also be availed to media houses, academicians, researchers and those interested or monitoring in the EAC integration process. The second-phase of the visits is envisaged for next year with pictures of areas uncovered in the current two-week mission.
"It's been a very short but productive mission," he stated. The four-man team also included head trainer of the EAC-GIZ Master Photography trainer, Harmunt Fiebig, a renowned German photographer and publisher. Mr Fiebig said that what has inspired him to be part of the team was enormous photographing talents of young East Africans.
"I am inspired by the burning enthusiasm of young talented photographers of the region to promote regional integration." The visit follows the first training of photographers on the EAC angling from the EAC Partner States in Arusha mid-this year. Advance training is planned for next year and the First EAC-GIZ Best Photographers Award.
"Photography is very delicate art and needs many more hours to get the right articulate pictures. Professional photographers spend many hours just to get an exact shot," remarked Mr Fiebig.
The EAC in collaboration with GIZ is also planning first training for Videographers and broadcasters of EAC partner States later next year. The join EAC-GIZ training partnership has already conducted three trainings for journalists and editors last year and early this year. Further training is in the pipeline.