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Thursday, 28 November 2013 09:27

6TH EAST AFRICAN MEDIA SUMMIT KICKS- OFF IN KAMPALA

ARUSHA, Tanzania, 28 November 2013 (PRNewswire Africa) -- The 6th EAC-EABC Media Summit themed Taking EAC Agenda to the People: Enhancing Media Knowledge and Participation today opened at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala, Uganda.

The 28-29 November EAC and the East African Business Council (EABC)-organized Summit has brought together at least 150 participants, including media owners, chief executive officers of media houses, publishers, editors and journalists from across the region.

Delivering the keynote address at the Summit about EAC Vision on the Role of the Media in Regional Integration, the EAC Secretary General Amb. Dr. Richard Sezibera said Media has a critical role in the process of socio-economic transformation of the East African region as well as eliciting full participation of the people in the regional integration process.

Amb. Sezibera reminded the media practitioners that popular involvement and participation can only be realized by ensuring that the public is aware of the aims and objectives as well as the ongoing and planned projects and programmes of the East African Community.

He urged the media to engage stakeholders and rally support from citizens in the region and invent captivating ways of promoting the achievements that the region has accomplished.

The EAC Secretary General challenged private and government media houses to offer more airtime or editorial space on EAC regional integration issues. “I appreciate those media houses that are already giving this kind of coverage on the integration agenda''.

Speaking on the tolerance and sensitivity of media while reporting, Dr. Sezibera implored the media to be at the forefront in helping to promote better understanding of the complexities of the regional integration especially the pillars i.e. Customs Union, Common Market, Monetary Union, and Political Federation.

“I urge you not to be purveyors of shortcomings and pointing accusing fingers at some EAC partner states for lack of commitment''

On the impact of Social Media and Bloggers EAC chief asked the mainstream media houses to see how best they can make use of the resources being put across by the new Independent Media build synergy for the benefits of the ordinary citizens in our region.

The outgoing chair of the EAC Council of Ministers and the Minister of East African Community Affairs of the Republic of Uganda Hon. Shem Bageine said the 6th East African Media Summit was taking place at a time when the East African Community was entering its most critical phase and needed to have its projects and programmes well understood and supported by the East African people.

Hon Shem Bageine reiterated the critical role of the media to move regional integration faster and succeed in bringing benefits to all citizens of the region. “It is not enough for the media to simply play a secondary role of occasionally reporting about major event by Organs of the Community and related agencies”, added Hon Bagaine.

“I appeal to the Governments in the East African Community to ensure that laws do not infringe on the freedom of the press and expression for the better and safer working environment for our Journalists''.

He commended CEOs and Media Owners for kick-starting the process to establish a regulatory body that will make policy to guide the establishment of East African media Council to safeguard media freedom in the region.

Later today, winners of the third EAC Media Awards will be announced and rewarded for their excellence in reporting the EAC integration. The Awards ceremony and Gala Dinner will take place at Speke Resort Hotel inKampala, Uganda

Journalists from the five EAC Partner States are competing for the EAC Secretary General's Award, which is the overall prize, and for prizes in six other categories that include Business (EABC Chairman's Award); Agriculture and Food Security; Health; Environment; Political; and Higher Education reporting.

The objectives of the Media Summit are to update the media practitioners on the latest developments in the East African integration process; discuss the role of the media in promoting the EAC agenda and; work out concrete mechanisms for collaboration between the media industry and the EAC and EABC.

(SOURCE East African Community Secretariat (EAC)

 

 
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