• Fri. Jun 21st, 2024

World Media and Information Literacy Week has been officially launched


Dec 16, 2022

BUJUMBURA December 16th (ABP) – “Combating rumors, disinformation and hate speech are among the concerns of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)”, according to the Director of the Multisectoral Regional Office of UNESCO for Central Africa, Paul Couster, who was speaking on Tuesday, December 13, 2022, in Bujumbura, during the official launch of activities dedicated to World Media and Information Literacy Week, 2022 edition, piloted by the ministry responsible for information and the media.

He indicated that media and information literacy is essential to make every citizen a responsible and informed actor of development and peace in order to minimize the global conflicts that are conveyed by disinformation, hate speech and rumors spread on the internet through social media. He also said that UNESCO aims to build the capacities of different categories of public actors, political decision-makers, educators, information and media professionals, youth organizations and disadvantaged populations. He added that nearly 400 youth organizations around the world, among them 22 from Burundi, have been trained to integrate media and information literacy into policy.

                                                                                                   Family photo of the participants

On his part, Mr. Thierry Kitamoya, assistant to the minister responsible for information and the media, the government of Burundi is committed to improving relations between the media and the authorities. According to him, the distrust between the government and the media observed in 2015 is now part of history. Burundi is making great strides towards truth and common understanding lost for decades, he said.

Strategies for better communication between the governed and the rulers have been put in place. The truth lies in many licensed media outlets and the establishment of suggestion boxes across the country, he said. It is also done via telephone exchanges between the people and the President of the Republic, Mr. Evariste Ndayishimiye, whose telephone number has been given to all Burundians and whoever would like to speak to him is well received. Those who act in the shadows to recreate a divide between the rulers and the ruled have no more room and they have only to seek space elsewhere, he insisted.

As a reminder, the world week dedicated to media and information literacy in Burundi will result in the capacity building of various organizations and especially those of young people for civic engagement that will share their experiences on the campuses of four universities located in the city of Bujumbura. It is celebrated under the theme: “Fostering trust, an imperative of media and information literacy”.