BUJUMBURA August 31st (ABP) – The Minister of Communication, Information Technologies and Media, Mrs. Léocadie Ndacayisaba, opened Monday, August 29, 2022, at the training, seminar and research center of the University Lumière de Bujumbura (ULBU), the three-day activities of the 12th annual conference of the East African Communication Association (EACA), organized this year under the theme “Media and communication: opportunities, lessons learned and challenges for the innovation of technologies during the period of the Covid-19 pandemic”.
In his opening remarks, Minister Léocadie Ndacayisaba pointed out that it is an honor for Burundi to open the 12th annual conference of the EACA, an event that comes at a time when Burundi has ensured, since July 22 2022, the presidency of the East African Community (EAC).
She expressed her congratulations to the management of the ULBU as well as to other organizers, who did everything to ensure that this conference was held under conditions that allow fruitful exchanges, she wished.
The Minister in charge of the media underlined that this year’s theme is well chosen because it is in line with the difficult times that the whole world has experienced with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Indeed, communication and the media through Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have played a great role in dealing with that pandemic, said Mrs. Ndacayisaba, adding that lessons have been learned in order to relaunch challenges.
She clarified that the main objective of the EACA 12th Annual Conference is therefore to create a platform for universities, students, communication experts, media professionals and other parties to reflect on lessons learned, opportunities and the challenges of technology innovation during times of pandemics like Covid-19. That platform will be an important tool to fight those pandemics together, she added.
The government of Burundi, through the ministry having the media in its attributions, in collaboration with both public and private media and development partners, has developed synergies which have made it possible to minimize the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, said Minister Ndacayisaba.
Given that the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted economies, the minister in charge of the media revealed that Burundi has not been spared but that, compared to other States, Burundi can congratulate itself because, -it translated, the impact was not too heavy thanks to the work done by communication, media and ICT. The media have collaborated with the country’s authorities in disseminating messages to raise public awareness of the seriousness of that pandemic and the measures to be taken. All the media participated in the campaign initiated by the Head of State, Mr. Evariste Ndayishimiye, described as “Ndakira, Sinandura kandi Sinanduza Corona virus” and characterized by voluntary and free screening, illustrated Mrs. Ndacayisaba.
Minister Ndacayisaba asked professionals from the Burundian media, the technology innovation sector and online media to take advantage of that conference and the parallel workshops that will be organized and to make it a platform for intergenerational dialogue. She also asked the heads of the Burundian media and those of the other EAC countries who took part in this conference to take advantage of these meetings so that the media can play their role of informing, training and educating.
The Rector of ULBU, Dr. Yves Ndayikunda, said that ULBU hosted the activities of that regional conference for the second time, in partnership with the Ministry in charge of Communication, WHO, UNFPA, UNICEF, the EAC Inter-University Council and the Burundian media.
He pointed out that during those three days of exchanges, that is to say from August 29 to 31, 2022, journalists, researchers, the supervisory ministry and other stakeholders will discuss how communication and ICTs have been used during the difficult times of Covid-19, with the aim of knowing how the media could continue to play their role in crises like that.
Note that the 12th annual conference of the EACA saw the participation of delegations from the member countries of the EAC namely Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda, the DRC and those other countries in the world including Norway and the USA.