Every year on May 3, the world celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom on World Press Freedom Day. And, for the past 5 years, UCBC’s has organized a conference and annual festival of communication and information.
But, for the first time UCBC recognized the excellence of about thirty local journalists, student press organizations and business companies in Beni and the surrounding area who distinguished themselves in their profession.
Bora Uzima, lecturer and coordinator of the communications department, encouraged local journalists “to become journalists for development and mediation. Land conflicts are one of the most important reasons why militias are formed in Eastern DRC. This will continue, if you don’t take a courageous decision of start designing specific programs to inform very well the population on land affairs. Your contribution matters for rebuilding a peaceful eastern Congo.”
Over 400 students, local journalists, and other invited guests gathered in Hope Chapel Tent to discuss the theme for this year’s conference, “Critical minds for critical times: Media’s role in advancing peaceful, just and inclusive society.”
Session topics included: “The Impact of Media in the Society”; “Journalism versus the Proliferation of Army Groups in Eastern Congo”; and “Land Mediation and Sensitization as a Function of the Press to Prevent Conflict.”
After the conference, UCBC communications students performed for community through songs, dramas, poems, sketches, fashion shows.
Special thank to UN Habitat and Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) who through UCBC’s Integrated Research Institute (IRI) sponsored more than 50 percent of the event, special thanks to other local business companies and banks who contributed to the success of this fifth festival. With the amount of momentum and growing support, we hope to gather communications students, lecturers, journalists and media specialist from different Great Lakes Region of Africa and other provinces in Congo on this special day next year.