Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

Rwanda to host SIGNIS World Congress in 2026

The official city to host the SIGNIS World Congress in 2026 is Kigali, Rwanda. After Asia (Seoul, South Korea, 2022), America (Canada, Quebec, 2017), Europe (Italy, Rome, 2014) we can now say: “It’s time for Africa”.

The decision was made during the SIGNIS Board of Directors meeting Bangkok, Thailand. SIGNIS, in its commitment to fostering international collaboration among its members, associates, and affiliates, organizes a quadrennial global event. This assembly provides a platform for participants to engage in substantive discussions, exchange ideas, and contemplate the future trajectory of media and communication. 

Fr. Bertrand Webb Amouzou, general director of Ecclesia TV, Ivory Coast, representing SIGNIS Africa, expressed the significance of selecting Kigali as the venue. He remarked, “In Africa, Rwanda and its capital city serve as symbols of hope, embodying a renaissance from the ashes of adversity towards a brighter future. Present-day Kigali stands as one of Africa’s foremost modern, clean, and well-organized cities, acclaimed as a smart city and a preferred destination for continental and international meetings. This location will allow SIGNIS and its partners to discover one of the richest continents in terms not only of culture but also Catholicism, and put the spotlight on both the communication achievements and needs of the African peoples”. 

Rwanda, home to a population of over 13 million, with approximately 60% identifying as Catholic, has undergone a remarkable transformation since the tragic events of the 1994 genocide. Emerging from its history, the East African nation is now dedicated to preserving its lush landscapes and invaluable wildlife. Rwanda is positioning itself as a smart hub in Central Africa, eagerly awaiting visitors from across the globe seeking to explore its natural beauty, cultural heritage, traditions, and societal dynamics.

The Catholic Church in Rwanda shares with the Universal Church the concern to promote Catholic communication as an instrument and leaven of the New Evangelization and communion, which is in line with SIGNIS’ goal to promote the use of media for peace. “Sharing experiences and expertise through gathering media professionals is one of the best ways to strengthen this sector in the entire Church. Thus, our local Church will be honored to host the SIGNIS World Congress and support the development of communications in the Church” said Antoine Card. Kambanda, Archbishop of Kigali and Chairperson of the Rwandan Episcopal Conference.

Selecting Rwanda as the host country for the Congress is an opportunity to bring attention to a nation that may, at times, be overlooked but possesses immense potential. Fr. Webb emphasized, “Africa is a continent of great possibilities. Unfortunately, even in the 21st century, it could still be described as the ‘unknown continent’ due to the slanted news about it on the international media”. Hosting the SIGNIS World Congress in Africa will offer participants from other continents the chance to make their inaugural visit to the continent, gaining firsthand insights into its rich diversity in terms of people, cultures, and environment. Fr. Webb concluded: “We look forward to hosting the rest of the world in Africa”. 

Also published in https://www.signis.world/top3/21-12-2023/rwanda-to-host-signis-world-congress-in-2026/