Kenyan Government to Collaborate with Catholic Media Houses in Capacity Building: Official

The PS. Ministry of ICT, Innovation and youth affairs in Kenya addressing Catholic Journalists at Holy Family Basilica in Kenya's Nairobi Archdiocese. Credit: ACI Africa

An official of the Kenyan government has said that the ministry in which he serves is ready to “work together” with Catholic Media Houses in the country to foster capacity building of Catholic journalists for better communication.

In his Sunday, May 29 message on the occasion of the 56th World Communications Day (WCD) that was organized by Catholic Media Houses in the Archdiocese of Nairobi, the Permanent Secretary (PS) in Kenya’s Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs said that joint training initiatives will help the Church to play the media role of informing and educating more seriously.

“There is need for training and capacity building of our journalists, which the ministry has a responsibility for,” Jerome Okoth Ochieng’ said during the event held at the Holy Family Minor Basilica of the Archdiocese of Nairobi.

Credit: ACI Africa

Mr. Ochieng’ added, “We will work together with the Catholic Media houses in ensuring that we do capacity building of our media houses.”


The PS in the Ministry that has responsibility for formulating, administering, managing and developing the Information, Broadcasting and Communication policy in Kenya said that the joint training will seek to prepare Catholic Communicators not just for Kenya's August 9 general elections but to be better communicators even in their respective apostolates. 

Capacity building is essential because the nature of communications is changing and almost everybody is becoming a journalist, he explained, adding that that some events on social media are reported by those who are not journalists.

The PS who was addressing representatives from the 15 Catholic media houses in the Archdiocese of Nairobi that have been conducting campaigns to sensitize Catholics in the Kenyan Metropolitan See about WCD 2022 said joint training fosters synergy amid “minimal resources”.

The Permanent Secretary Ministry of ICT, Innovation and youth affairs in Kenya, Mr. Jerome Akoth Ochieng (left) and the CEO of the Media Council of Kenya Mr. David Omwoyo being shown some of the Catholic media products. Credit: ACI Africa

Mr. Ochieng’ said, “There are means whereby we can bring in our efforts together, where we put in the synergies so that we can be able to do more with the minimal resources available."

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Speaking at the same May 29 event, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Media Council of Kenya (MCK) emphasized the need for collaboration especially in the use of technology.

“The challenges in the world and in the media now is collaboration in matters of use of technology, resources and sustainability,” David Omwoyo said.

Mr. Omwoyo challenged Catholic Media Houses to compete for the journalist awards offered by the council saying that they hardly appear in such events.

CEO of Media council of Kenya, Mr. David Omwoyo addressing Catholic Journalists on World Communications Day, celebrated in the Archdiocese of Nairobi. Credit: ACI Africa

“I have not seen Catholic media planning for elections (reporting) and when we come to the journalism awards, they are nowhere,” he said, and added, “So it is an entire challenge we have. I urge that we have joint programs in this.”


In his homily during Holy Mass that the 15 Catholic Media Houses in Nairobi Archdiocese organized, the Coordinator of Social Communications Department of the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA) reflected on the relationship between the Solemnity of the Ascension of Jesus and the WCD.

Fr. Andrew Kaufa, and said that the two celebrations are “a reminder of our mission as the mystical body of Christ in the world where technology can be disruptive.” 

Fr. Andrew Kaufa (left) and Fr. Andrew Bwalya (right) receiving offertory during the 56th World Communications Day Mass Celebration at the Holy Family Minor Basilica in the Archdiocese of Nairobi on Sunday, May 29. Credit: ACI Africa

“This Jesus whom the disciples saw ascending into heaven expects us all to play our role of promoting the establishment of God’s kingdom through these means of communication, which we are celebrating,” Fr. Kaufa said.

The Malawian-born member of the Montfort Missionaries said that God intended human beings to use the means of communication for evangelization in which the message of reconciliation is communicated to His people.

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“Reconciliation is very important; communion is very important; and these tools must be seen at the service of that type of life, not to cause division, not to promote hate but rather be used for tolerance, to spread messages of equity, unity and integrity,” the Nairobi-based Catholic Priest said.

Making reference to Pope Francis’ Message for 2022 WCD that proposes the theme, “Listening with the Ear of the Heart”, Fr. Kaufa said that a good communicator is a good listener, both to God and to one another.

“We cannot be effective witnesses of Jesus Christ in the modern world if we are not listening first to God who sent us but also to one another,” he said, and added, “Members of the media who are here today, we are called to reflect on how we value the opinions of the people who listen to our radios and TV stations.”

The AMECEA official emphasized the value for attention to audiences. He posed, “How much do we give the people who buy our newspapers the opportunity to talk to us? How much does our radio station or TV stations conduct research from the audience so that they may get feedback from the people?” 

The August general elections in Kenya and the ongoing preparations for the Synod on Synodality are main activities this year that require “listening with the ear of the heart”, he said, citing this year’s WCD theme.

Credit: ACI Africa

Fr. Kaufa explained, “General elections are about political aspirants, and political parties presenting their ideas after listening to the people, after doing their research. Is it not the moment to hear about their manifestos, what they are selling to us as voters?”

“Synod requires us to open our ears and hearts to listen to the Holy Spirit to listen to one another especially those members of the church who are oftentimes voiceless, marginalized and perhaps think the church does not value them at all,” he further explained during the May 29 event that was organized by the 15 Catholic Media Houses in Nairobi Archdiocese.

The 15 Catholic Media entities operate on print, broadcast, and digital platforms. They include the Paulines Publications Africa, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops Communications (KCCB), the National Mirror, the Archdiocese of Nairobi, the New People Media Center, and the Messenger of Mary Immaculate.

Others are Radio Maria Nairobi, Bayard Publications, the Bosco Eastern Africa Multimedia Services (BEAMS), the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa(AMECEA), The Seed magazine, Loyola Center for Media and Communications, Radio Waumini, Capuchin TV, and the Association for Catholic Information in Africa (ACI Africa).

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.