Communication and Information

Radio presenter from Meru county engages with listeners using ICTs in discussing issues of local public concerns © Masakazu Shibata/UNESCO

The Communication and Information Sector promotes sustainable development by building knowledge societies in East African countries.  In supporting freedom of expression and media development, the Regional Office for East Africa works in close cooperation with international and national stakeholders including Member States to promote press freedom, both online and offline.  World Press Freedom Day remains one of the main advocacy events in the region.  In the region, the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity is also addressed through the implementation of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.

The Regional Office for East Africa is assisting several community radio stations in the region in bringing about social change; support is provided to remote communities to access high quality radio programmes and to better make use of ICT in its programming and broadcasting practices. The Organization’s commitment to media development, pluralism and community radio is furthermore underscored by the implementation of several regional and national International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) projects.

Barriers to accessing information and knowledge are addressed by the UNESCO Office for East Africa by the promoting Open Educational Resources (OERs) through policy development and training.  Furthermore barriers exist in the use of Information and Communication Technology in Education (ICT) in education, in spite of the potential to transform teaching and learning processes.   The UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers is being adapted and implemented in several countries in the region.  Young people are also targeted through the YouthMobile initiative that empower the youth from the region in creating mobile applications to solve some of the most important development challenges that they face.  Initiatives are also undertaken to ensure that people with disabilities are not left out of the development process in East Africa.

There is also a concern to better protect the documentary heritage of Eastern Africa.  UNESCO strives to sensitize governments, relevant institutions and the public at large of the importance to preserve information for present and future generations. 

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