All-Africa Catholic News Coming Soon

Journalists See Need for Continental Agency

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NAIROBI, Kenya, SEPT. 9, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Catholic media personnel in Africa started off this month with an affirmation of the need for a continent-wide Catholic news service. The call was heard, and an all-Africa Church news agency is in the process of being established.

Catholic journalists gathered last week in Nairobi for a three-day workshop sponsored by the Symposium of the Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM).

An aide from the Vatican, Father Janvier Yameogo, a member of the Pontifical Council for Social Communication, was among those who lamented a lack of networking and synergy among initiatives in Africa.

"As a church we need to share our stories through networking," Father Yameogo stated.

In a final communiqué from the workshop, the Catholic media personnel affirmed that their expertise will be put at the service of a "Catholic Continental News Agency for Africa in order to make the authentic African voice be heard."

The group has set up working committees to bring the initiative to fruition.

Initial planning foresees that the agency's services will be free and designed primarily for the Catholic faithful, available in three primary languages: Portuguese, English and French.

A central working group of three people, including two priests, was formed, as well as regional groups. The core group has the commission of setting in place a framework of activities within 30 days.

A fundraising committee was also established.

The final communiqué states that there will be efforts to "bring the whole of Africa on board to help set up successfully the proposed agency."