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SIGNIS Africa Calls on African Youth to Join International Radio Contest

Poster announcing SIGNIS youth competition on podcast.

The leadership of SIGNIS Africa, the continental branch of the global Catholic Association for Communication, SIGNIS, is encouraging African youth who have a passion in radio and digital communication to join the global network of their fellow radio enthusiasts in the international podcast contest that SIGNIS World Radio has organized.

In an interview with ACI Africa February 5, the President of SIGNIS Africa, Fr. Walter Ihejirika, said that radio is what defines Africa in terms of communication and urged young people on the continent to showcase their talent using the media platform.

“Being a global contest, SIGNIS Africa encourages as many young people as possible from all African countries to showcase their talents in radio to the rest of the world. Africa is a radio continent. That is what we are known for all over,” said Fr. Ihejirika.

For the contest, the youth will be asked to submit 1–3-minute podcasts on Pope Francis’ recent Encyclical Letter, “Fratelli Tutti: On fraternity and social friendship.” 

This is also a way to encourage the youth to read the document, according to organizers of the event.

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Contesters are invited to submit their pieces to [email protected] from where they will be accessed, vetted, and broadcast on Vatican Radio.

Further instructions indicate that audio podcasts be submitted with attached synopsis in English, and must also be recommended or approved by the SIGNIS Country Coordinator.

In the call for submissions, SIGNIS leadership has clarified that it will not be responsible for any copyright related issues pertaining to the audio podcasts.

Submissions for the radio contest with the title “Youth Competition on Podcast 2021” are open until June, according to an announcement seen by ACI Africa.  

Organizers say that the aim of the contest, which is a combination of radio and digital communications, is to promote an interest among the world’s young persons to employ their digital skills in evangelization.

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“Apart from some cash prizes, we invite the youth from SIGNIS Africa, SIGNIS Asia, SIGNIS Latin America and the Caribbean, SIGNIS Europe and SIGNIS North America and the Pacific to join the competition, and sponsor the winner(s) to the International Radio Contest of Sri Lanka,” the organizers of the contest say.

Fr. Ihejirika told ACI Africa that radio as a platform of evangelization has “diffused the most on the African content.”

“Radio is everywhere. Many dioceses and Church organizations are engaged in radio to reach the people of God,” the Nigerian-born Cleric and Professor told ACI Africa February 5, and explained, “Radio is easier to access; it doesn’t necessarily require electricity and is very flexible for the audience.”

According to the Professor of Development Communication and Media Studies at Nigeria’s University of Port Harcourt, young people in Africa have all it takes to take radio to the next level “with a little mentorship.”

“I see young men do wonderful things using the internet. They are very talented. All they need is a little motivation to help them channel their God given talents in evangelization. Many of them are involved in social media and all they need is some coaching, mentorship and a little push to give them the direction they need in life,” the President of SIGNIS Africa told ACI Africa.

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The contest has been opened on the sidelines of an invitation to join the first-ever SIGNIS Catholic International Radio Encounter in February 2022, in Sri Lanka.

The event will be hosted by SIGNIS Asia Radio Desk in conjunction with the SIGNIS World Radio desk under the theme, “Engaging the Youth for a Dynamic Radio Uniting Asia and the World.”

“At this international forum, we hope to bring together some of SIGNIS’ radio experts to share experiences and learn from each other,” SIGNIS Asia Secretary and Radio Encounter Convenor, Bernadetta Widi, has said in communiqué obtained by ACI Africa.

Ms. Widi further says, “A key feature will be the participation of some young people from all continents, at this international encounter. It is also our hope that we can invite one of the officials from the Dicastery of Communication to this gathering.”