Catholic Information Service for Africa
The Catholic Information Service for Africa (CISA) was started by a group of missionary and religious institutes in February 2001, after two years of preparation, as an E-mail only service to network the Church in Africa. The first bulletin was sent out two months later in April, after the necessary groundwork had been laid.
Today, by mutual agreement, CISA is solely owned by the Consolata Missionaries as part to the Consolata Media Centre.
CISA was founded with the aim of offering an interactive network of the local churches of Africa, linking them with the Universal Church. It aims to achieve this by gathering and sending out Church news and issues on human rights relevant to Africa and others.
An electronic news bulletin is sent out twice weekly, i.e. Tuesdays and Fridays, while, other relevant documents are dispatched on other days. Such documents may be pastoral letters, appeals, events speeches and pronouncements of the Church that need prompt distribution at local, national and continental levels.
CISA’s services are free, though readers of goodwill are annually invited to make voluntary contributions to keep the office running. CISA also accepts subscribers continuously and encourages readers to send documents that could be of interest to others.
An open, tolerant and networked Church and society that reflects the aspirations of her people
To promote pastoral development and social justice through information dissemination, networking and collaboration across Africa
- To dispatch news from the universal Church that is relevant to Africa
- CISA aims to reach out to readers, who include not only Catholics and non-Catholic Christians, but also those of other faiths such as Muslims and Hindus. The editorial team consults with the CISA Board members on any controversial issues.
- CISA’s policy is to give preference to news about Africa, by sources within Africa, emphasising on Church and religious news, without being ‘churchy’, and issues on human rights and matters of justice and peace.
- CISA pays particular attention to aspects of life that affect the inhabitants of the African continent that may not necessarily be religious. Such issues may relate to HIV/AIDS, constitutional processes and democracy, or its absence, human rights, justice and peace in African countries, as well as matters of dialogue, ecumenism and reconciliation.
- Aware that Africa is engulfed in violent conflicts; CISA strives to give constructive and peace-oriented reports.
- To cover events that are ignored or suppressed by the commercial media for political or ideological reasons.
- CISA offers its services free of charge.
- Dispatches are generally made in English. Sometimes, however, a few special issues may be mailed out in Kiswahili, a common language spoken in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and parts of the Great Lakes. Such messages may include: messages from the pope,
- Having a base in Nairobi, with the largest block of addressees from Kenya, often many detailed stories and announcements are tailored for local consumption.
- The information services and agencies on the CISA mailing list will receive every bulletin that is sent out of CISA, even if meant for a special category.