South Sudan media stakeholders have used the occasion to commemorate the 2018 World Radio Day to call for use of radio to encourage local sports for peaceful coexistence in the country.
The event under the theme “Radio and Sports” took place on 13 February at the University of Juba Play Ground.
It was marked with speeches from different radio stakeholders and government officials graced with a football match between radio journalists and local football coaches as well as traditional dances from different cultural groups.
Hon. Dr. Nadia Arop Dudi, National Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports who delivered the keynote address during the celebrations called on radio managers to challenge gender stereotypes. “Let’s give equal opportunities for women broadcasters and promote balanced coverage of men, women and mixed sports. I encourage all the radio stations in the country to promote fair portrayal of sportspeople, irrespective of gender.” Hon. Dr Dudi said.
The UNESCO Representative to South Sudan Mr. Sardar Umar Alam appreciated the radio stations in promoting freedom of expression and peace building in South Sudan “today’s event provided another opportunity to nurture diversity, as a force for dialogue and tolerance. The fight for gender equality is critical to this effort.” Mr. Alam said.
Mr Koang Pal Chang, Eye Radio station manager who spoke on behalf of the radio stations said radio played and continue to play a very important role in connecting communities and families around the country despite insecurity. He also used the opportunity to appeal to authorities to ensure safety and protection of journalists in the country.
Ms. Mary Ajith, the Acting Chairperson for the Association for Media Development in South Sudan (AMDISS) call on media practitioners to use radio to promote sports for peace.” Female Journalists should bring out the potential in them in the media sector and make sure that women voices are heard in sporting activities” Ms Ajith said. In a divided society like ours, radio have helped in sending out peace messages and this should be continued with responsibility.”
Speaking at the same occasion was Mr. Charles Haskins, Chief of Party, Internews who said “Sports has a language for togetherness, it doesn’t have a tribe but it has one team from different cultures, this means sports can be strong tool for bringing different communities together to live in peace”
The 2018 World Radio Day celebration was organized by broadcast journalists representing different radio stations with support from UNESCO project "Strenghthening Dialogue for Peace and Reconcialiation in South Sudan" which is funded by the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund in partnership with Internews, USAID, University of Juba and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports.