The association of Catholic media practitioners in Africa known as `SIGNIS-Africa’ says it will partner other relevant associations to fight against online criminality such as: child abuse, religious radicalisation and exploitation among youths on the continent.
It said that it would achieve its intention by promoting local best practices in digital world among the youth at the continental level.
It also added that it would also advocate local and regional strategies in the fight against cybercrime.
The association stated this in a communiqué it issued after its continental congress and delegates’ assembly held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
It was signed by Rev. Fr. (Prof.) Walter Ihejirika (President) and Rev. Fr. Dieudome Kofi Davor (Secretary /Treasurer) on behalf of delegates.
The theme of the congress was: “The African Youth in the Digital World: Promoting Creativity for Integral Development.’’
The association also said that it would partner other relevant organizations involved in promoting creativity and integral development of the youth in the digital world to achieve the fight against online criminality.
The association in the communiqué added that it had recognised youths as a vulnerable group in the society hence, they should not be allowed to remain bystanders in the development of the continent.
It said that it would engage in the training and harnessing creativity among youths in media and digital literacy so that they would be able to apply such for the common good..
The association also promised to encourage its members to use their professional callings to assist youths from Africa to find their rightful place in the digital world.
It stated that this is because youths needed to be formed to be at the centre of the continent’s development agenda because of their teeming population.
They should become protagonists and artisans of their own destinies, it said.
It also added that it would harness the digital technologies to revitalise the missionary spirit and promote creativity and integral human development among youths on the continent.
It said this would help them to tell African stories in a positive way.
It noted that SIGNIS-Africa had chosen the theme because it is a stakeholder in the child/youth protection programme of the Church on the continent.
The association said that it had highlighted its position in its communiqué so as to create awareness on the challenges being faced by youths from Africa in digital age .
“The congress also afforded us the opportunity to share various ideas and experiences and also identify the concerns and needs of youths.
“They include education, health, job opportunities, social space, religious, cultural values amongst others.