From 29 August to 1 September 2023, at Lumko Institute, Benoni, in South Africa, IMBISA held a Seminar on Social Communication with the theme “Communicating the Faith with Joy.” At this workshop were assembled Coordinators of Social Communication and Catholic Social Communication professionals in the Region, as envoys and delegates from the 9 member countries of IMBISA. It was also attended by Bishop Willem Christiaans, Bishop of Keetmanshoop-Namibia, from the Social Department of IMBISA.The workshop began with the Holy Mass presided over by Bishop José Ponce IMC, of Manzini, in charge of Social Communication at IMBISA. The Director of the Secretariat Fr Rafael Sapato welcomed the delegates and gave a brief history of IMBISA.

The following topics were presented at the workshop:

  1. The role of the Church in Promoting good communication, by Bishop Jose Luis Ponce IMC
  2. Speaking with the Heart: Pastoral Insights for National Communication Officers in the Digital Era, by Sr Olga Massango FSP.
  3. Importance of Media for a more Synodal Church, by Sheila Pires.
  4. Challenges in technology, Data Protection and Cyber Security for the Church today, by Rev. Dr. Veranus Gwanitheni.
  5. Church’s Voice Becoming Relevant in the Public Debate, by Bishop Antonio Manuel Bogaio Constantino MCCI.
  6. Sharing on Signis, by Br Alfonce Kugwa.
  7. There was also detailed sharing from each of the nine countries in the IMBISA Region on how they are managing their Social Communications Department.

After two and half days of deliberations, Bishop José Luís Geraldo Ponce de León, IMC chaired a session on the way forward to IMBISA Communications. He elaborated on the role and functions of the coordinators of the Communication Offices both at IMBISA level and at Conference level. Secondly, the house agreed that we use the already established radio stations in the region to make IMBISA known, this would also add on to the already existing Social media pages like Facebook, Twitter, and the Web page. Thirdly, the house agreed on establishing a team to link with the Secretariat on Social Communication. So for the countries where we already have the Coordinator of Social Communication at conference level that person automatically becomes a member of the committee. Lastly the house resolved that meetings on social communication must be held regularly.