EAC Secretariat pledges journalists to report on community news

Forty journalists from EAC partner states attended the EAC Media training and building capacity workshop in Nairobi

Forty journalists from EAC partner states attended the EAC Media training and building capacity workshop in Nairobi

“I believe that the media has a big role to play in EAC integration process. The media has a mammoth task of not only educating East Africans on the benefits of integration but also updating them on the achievements”, says Simon Owaka, Senior Public relations Officer in the EAC Secretariat General, on behalf of the EAC Secretary General, Libérat Mpfumukeko.

It was during the official opening of the media training and capacity building workshop held in Nairobi-Kenya from 23 to 25 November. The training gathers forty journalists from EAC partner states.

During different discussions, journalists raised some challenges with regard to reporting on EAC. “We do not have access to the information and EAC officials are more bureaucrats and the coverage of integration matters remains skewed in favor of national matters”, said David Ohito, Editor Digital from the Standard Group in Kenya.

Simon Owaka said the EAC Secretariat through the corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department will continue facilitating media with information and knowledge on regional integration. “ I highly commend the journalists in our region for the wonderful job they have done so far in articulating the EAC regional integration issues to the people of East Africa and beyond” , he said.

The same view is shared by Betty Maina, Principal Secretary in charge EAC Integration in Kenya. “As the state Department of EAC Integration, we view the media as a strategic partner in promoting the integration process”, she said.

Maina underlines that a pool of journalists who are well informed on EAC issues will be instrumental in sensitizing EAC citizens on the integration process, stimulating their interest and catalyzing their exploitation of available cross border opportunity.

This media training is being undertaken in the context of the EAC communication Forum and is in line with Article 71 (1) (f) of the treaty for the establishment of the EAC which charges the Secretariat with the responsibility of promoting and disseminating information on the community to stakeholders, the general public and the international community.