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Communication scholars and experts gather in Kigali for the 13th Annual EACA Conference

Kigali, Rwanda– On August 29, 2023, the 13th Annual Conference of the East African Communication Association (EACA) commenced today in Rwanda, hosted by the esteemed University of Rwanda, in collaboration with the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) and Fojo Media Institute/Rwanda Media Programme.

EACA conference delegates with the guest of honour in a group photo

Under the theme “Media, Communication and Social Justice,” this year’s 3- days conference seeks to ignite vibrant discussions among researchers and scholars about the evolving role of media and communication in addressing critical social justice issues.

Distinguished scholars, experts, and media professionals from across the East African region have converged to explore how subjects like gender, politics, environment, education, social behavior, and health are portrayed, negotiated, and comprehended within media and other forms of discourse. Particularly noteworthy is the spotlight on the influence of emerging technologies in tackling these pressing social justice concerns.

In his opening address, Dr. Wilson Ugangu, President of EACA, expressed his delight in welcoming attendees to this pivotal gathering. He extended his gratitude to the University of Rwanda for hosting the event. He emphasized the significance of the conference’s theme in a society facing multifaceted challenges, where traditional and contemporary forces often hinder the media’s vital role as a watchdog.

“Our world today is in flux,” Dr. Ugangu remarked, highlighting the rapid pace of change and information flow. He also addressed the rise of fake news, disinformation, and misinformation as critical challenges in the evolving communication landscape. He urged participants to engage in robust discussions to devise strategies to combat these challenges and align communication practices with the pursuit of social justice.

Muganga Didas Kayihura, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Rwanda, expressed his honor in welcoming delegates to the 2023 edition of the EACA conference.
He highlighted the “timeliness of the conference’s theme, given the transformative shifts within media and communication that have disrupted traditional norms in pursuing social justice”.
Kayihura encouraged attendees to utilize the platform to deliberate on these issues, explore solutions, and capitalize on opportunities.

As the conference unfolds over the coming days, it promises to pave the way for innovative ideas, fruitful discussions, and tangible strategies to steer media and communication toward realizing a more equitable and just society.

Associate Dean Festus Irungu, Mount Kigali University in his presentation.

EACA unites East African universities, media, and communication bodies, welcoming global membership. It hosts an annual conference gathering scholars, practitioners, and researchers to discuss media trends.

EACA also publishes the African Journal of Communication, a peer-reviewed platform, amplifying research outcomes, particularly from its conferences, for improved regional media and communication sectors.

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