ETHIOPIA: Country Hosts SIGNIS Africa Congress and Assembly

ADDIS ABABA, SEPTEMBER 10, 2019 (CISA)- The SIGNIS Africa on September 3-7 held its 2019 Congress in Addis Ababa under the theme “The African Youth in the Digital World Promoting Creativity for integral development.”

At the conference, Archbishop of Addis Ababa Berhaneyesus Cardinal Souraphiel, challenged Catholic Media Practitioners to provide guidance to African young people threatened by the effects of new and social media technologies.

“The youth all over the world are getting confused in the practice of modern innovations. Furthermore, the African youth seem very much exposed and are becoming detached from their values, cultures and traditions,” Cardinal Berhaneyesus noted.

He commended the Association for the decision to reflect on the theme of the conference which focuses on addressing the youth regarding proper usage of the new media technologies

He reiterated that many people’s immersion in the virtual world has brought about a kind of “digital migration which involves withdrawal from families, cultural and religious values, and entrance into a world of loneliness and of self-invention, with the result that they feel rootless even while remaining physically in one place.

“I am hopeful that this congress will identify the serious challenges our African young people are facing with digital media and communication and show a way out for fruitful use of communication. The Church ought to help them; the Church ought to guide them to the right and true path,” he said.

“We African citizens of today are redeemers of Africa, and more especially you who are in the media profession are on the front line. God is calling you to use your profession to spread the Good News to the youth of Africa and help your Church to be the voice for truth, peace and justice,” he added.

According to SIGNIS Africa President Fr Walter Ihejirika the conference was meant to come up with practical pathways of promoting the welfare of African children and young people in the ever-changing digital world and  to provide structural fortifications to SIGNIS-Africa so that it can become a unified and coordinated entity in line with the mandate given to SIGNIS by the Vatican

“The care for this vulnerable group is one of the urgent pastoral needs identified by Pope Francis and highlighted during the recent Golden Jubilee of SECAM,” he said.

“Our vision is to build a strong Catholic Communications association, SIGNIS Africa, which is able to harness the mental and physical creativity of her members for spiritual and social development, as well as to provide viable propositions to the hierarchy of the Church in the formulation of good pastoral plans at continental, regional and national level,” he explained.

Signis, also known as the World Catholic Association for Communication is a Catholic lay ecclesial movement for professionals in the communication media, including press, radio, television, cinema, video, media education, internet and new technology