The youth, together with Bishops, Priests and Religious as well as other lay stakeholders in Church communication are in a meeting in the Capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa to deliberate on the theme, “The African youth in the digital world: promoting creativity for integral development”: this year’s main theme shows how SIGNIS Africa aims at making a contribution to the creation of awareness about the problems faced by African children and young people in the digital age.
The SIGNIS Africa Congress and Assembly which officially opened on Wednesday September 4, is divided into two parts. The first part is the General Congress which will last from 3rd to the 5th of September.
The General Congress is expected to have three plenary and parallel sessions. The plenary sessions include the opening ceremony, and key paper presentations. Parallel sessions will involve presentation of individual papers based especially on personal testimonies relevant to the theme of the conference.
The second part is the Delegates Assembly expected to take place from September 6 -7
Speaking at the opening ceremony on Wednesday, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Addis Ababa and President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Ethiopia, His Eminence Berhaneyesus Cardinal Souraphieri commended the vision of SIGNIS-Africa in choosing to focus on, and address the proper use of new media technology among Africa’s youth during the congress.
The Cardinal also intimated that Catholic communication practitioners and professionals should be in the front line of the mission to redeem Africa. “God is calling you to use your profession to spread the good news to the youth of Africa and help the church to be the voice for truth, peace and justice,” he said.
For his part, President of SIGNIS-Africa, Rev Professor Walter Ihejirika affirmed that the Congress aims to create practical pathways for promoting the welfare of children and youth in the ever – changing digital world.
He also emphasised building up SIGNIS as a strong Catholic Communication Association that is able to harness the physical and mental creativity of members for spiritual and social development is a cardinal project for the Association.
Dignitaries expected to addressed the congress included His Excellency Bishop Lisane Chiristos, Episcopal chair of Social Communication, Catholic Bishops Conference of Ethiopia; Dr Paolo Ruffini, Prefect of the Dicastery for Communication at the Vatican, represented by Monsignor Javier Yameoogo, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Oyo in Nigeria, and President of Pan African Episcopal Committee for Social Communication, (CEPACS) Most Reverend Emmanuel Badejo, and Mrs Helen Osman, President of SIGNIS world – wide.
SIGNIS AFRICA is a non-governmental organization that includes members from over 100 countries. As the World Catholic Association for Communication, It brings together radio, television, cinema, video, media education, Internet and new technology professionals.