For the first time ever,Rwanda will this year host the East African Communication Association Conference (EACA). The meeting will take place at the University of Rwanda. This is the seventh time that the conference will be taking place.
The conference aims to examine media and communication developments in the digital age and in an increasingly market oriented environment.
Providing a forum for free exchange of ideas on the key issues and challenges affecting the media and communication industry in the region and beyond is among the topics according to a statement from organisers.
The annual event is scheduled to take place on 25-27 August in Kigali under the theme “the Economics of media business in the 21 st century”.
It will be hosted by the School of Journalism and Communication in collaboration with Fojo Media Institute, Linnaeus University (Sweden). Dr Margaret Jjuko, the convener of the upcoming EACA conference and lecturer at UR, told The Kaminuza Star that the conference is a great opportunity for the University of Rwanda community and Rwandan academicians to be more visible in research and publication focusing on the region.
Building and maintaining networks
“This will help to build network, maintain network and strengthening it, and each student now has the opportunity to make a mark in this conference through participating in writing substantial abstract on one of the sub themes which will really help the students to learn how to write an academic paper”. Dr Jjuko said.
Anki Wood,the international project manager of the Fojo project at the SJC, said the conference is an opportunity for participants to share published works in the region.
“The EACA will make University of Rwanda, and especially the School of Journalism and Communication, more visible in Africa, and that will help them deliver on their goals in Rwanda since the country is working hard to build the capacity of journalists and promoting research,” Wood said.
Hoping for partnerships
“As a result, we hope to see new partnerships and developments among journalism and media departments across the region and Rwanda in particular. There will also be a better apprehension of the challenges and opportunities arising out of the latest developments in the media sector”, Anki Wood explained.
The conference is expected to stimulate public debate and discussion on the threats and opportunities posed by the explosion of digital content, particularly web-based journalism.
Delegates will also deliberate on the survival of the print media in the digital and market oriented context as well as on journalism and communication as a business in the era of digitalisation.
EACA is open to communication scholars and practitioners all over Africa. However, this time scholars from Sweden and United States of America will be present.
Among the notable attendants of this year’s conference will be Jenny Ohlsson, the Swedish Ambassador in Rwanda.
According to the officials, there is a high demand for putting up strategies to fight the new industrial revolution that is totally turning the traditional media of less use, hence hard to make business out of it, and this has come as a result of advancement in technology which brought social media that reports news live even before traditional media.
East African Communication association – EACA
• The East African Communication Association (EACA) was established in 2011 as a platform for media and communication researchers, scholars, academicians, policy makers, regulators and media practitioners in the EAST African Community and beyond.