“All Catholic communicators on the continent must constantly be aware that listening is essential,” members of the African region of the global network of Catholic communicators bringing together radio, television, cinema, video, media education, Internet, and new technology professionals from over 100 countries say.
“Walking together in Synodality entails listening at a deeper level to all people without biases,” they add in the statement following their five-day SIGNIS Africa members’ Congress that had three representatives from the Vatican Dicastery for Communication, the Vice President of SIGNIS World, and the former SIGNIS Services Rome Director, among other dignitaries.
In their statement, SIGNIS Africa members underline the need for Catholic communicators in Africa to be multilingual in international languages, explaining that such ability fosters the spirit of networking, allowing the reaching out to each other across linguistic boundaries.
“We recommend to our Catholic communicators in Africa to learn more than one international language and cultivate the spirit of networking,” SIGNIS Africa members say.
Being multilingual in international languages, they add, “will help build bridges, encourage sharing of media projects, and ensure efficient engagement in our service to the Church and humanity.”
In their July 15 statement, members of the African region of the global network of Catholic media professionals that promotes “Media for a culture of peace” recall the keynote address that the President of the Pan African Episcopal Committee for Social Communications (CEPACS), Bishop Emmanuel Adetoyese Badejo gave, highlighting the challenge to give a voice through media visibility to the marginalized.
“In his keynote address, Bishop Badejo stated that the ongoing Synod on Synodality of the universal Church is a communication project that challenges media practitioners in Africa to devise practical ways of giving voice to those marginalized by some of our church structures and in the broader society,” SIGNIS Africa members say, adding, “This calls us a new way of being Church.”
The communicators from various African countries who are part of the World Catholic Association for Communication that has consultative status with UNESCO, United Nations in Geneva and New York (Ecosoc), and the Council of Europe recognize the need to engage the media in the process of evangelization on the continent.
During the July 11-15 Congress and Assembly of SIGNIS Africa, “The delegates were further enlightened about the need to see the media as a veritable and viable evangelization tool, the effective use of which will assist the Church in fulfilling its missionary mandate,” the members say in their statement.
They recall the 56th World Communications Day (WCD) that was marked on May 29, and draw inspiration from Nigeria and Burkina Faso where the celebrations were spread over a single day.