24 professionals from media houses and communication officers from government offices of the Republic of South Sudan (RSS participated in a media training organised by the EAC and supported by the EAC-German cooperation programme implemented by GIZ. The main objective of the training was to increase the capacity of the media professionals to generate relevant content for publishing in digital media houses and to inform them about the structure and objectives of the EAC.
The training event was opened by Director of Infrastructure, Eng. Kamugisha Kazaura, on behalf of the EAC Secretary General, Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko. “The mass media are powerful tools for raising awareness on various issues. The media therefore stand out as a special stakeholder group that ought to be educated if the EAC integration message is to trickle down to opinion leaders at the grassroots,” he said.
Mr Bernd Multhaup, Programme Manager of the EAC-GIZ Cooperation Programme, urged the participants “to be creative, investigative and honest in delivering content to the public. Responsible journalism is at the centre of building nations, fostering peace and unity among the different stakeholders and this can be of particular benefit to a young nation like yours and East Africa,” he said.
The training addressed two thematic areas. The unit on digital journalism concentrated on preparing and presenting content for digital media publishing, the changing landscape in this area, and public advocacy through digital media. In a second unit, representatives of the various EAC departments and organs, such as Customs, Trade, Social Sectors, East African Legislative Assembly and the East African Court of Justice talked about the tasks and responsibilities of East African integration. This was a great opportunity for the media people to get to know their contact partners in the Secretariat and create professional networks.
At the end of the training, all participants supported a resolution to strengthen the relation between the Republic of South Sudan and the EAC. On the one hand, the work of the EAC Desk in Juba should be improved, and on the other hand training measures on digital media communication professionals and journalists should continue as more and more people in South Sudan use digital media.