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PEACETALKS #40: Intersection of Independent Journalism & Elections in DRC

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The HiVE

128 West Hastings Street

Vancouver, BC V6B 1G8

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What does it take to ensure an honest and fair election in a country strife with corruption, exploitation, and armed conflict? Can elevating the voices of independent journalists foster transparency and open dialogue, or simply increase polarization in an already divided nation?

These are just a few of the questions facing the Democratic Republic of Congo as it heads towards its election in December. Though widely unreported, the DRC is in the midst of a humanitarian crisis. Violent clashes between government and rebel forces are becoming increasingly common, spilling into the North Kivu and Ituri provinces, affecting a growing number of civilian populations. Attacks on local villages have resulted in the deaths of hundreds, forcing thousands to flee to neighbouring Uganda, and other large cities within the DRC.

Amid this crisis, PeaceGeeks, in collaboration with the African Student Association and Bunia Actualite, an independent news organization operating in the DRC, are proud to host Congo: intersection of independent journalism and elections, a talk featuring King Solomon and guests for what promises to be an engaging talk surrounding the challenges and opportunities facing the DRC ahead of its general election in December, and the important role of independent journalism.

This talk will be hosted by Peter Wood

Meet the speakers:

King Solomon

King Solomon is an SFU International Relations major who arrived to Canada from the DRC as a refugee in 2009. Since then, he's helped establish the website buniaactualite.com; one of the only independently-run news organizations in the DRC. Since its conception in Oct 2017, the grassroots news organization Bunia Actualité has gained significant traction both on its website, and its Facebook page (started in 2015), which has over 111,000 followers. buniaactualite.com


Gaius Kowene

Gaius Kowene is an award-winning journalist, Digital Rights activist and Youth Participation advocate from Congo DRC. He travels across Africa to uncover stories of ordinary people with extraordinary achievements. His works have been published by the BBC, Radio France International, the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle and more. With the support of Yole!Africa, a grassroots organization empowering young people through art and culture, Gaius Kowene initiated the community of bloggers from Goma, BloGoma, an informal group of Congolese web activists fighting for Internet rights with organizations like Internet Without Borders, AccessNow, the Digital Rights Foundation and more. As a member of CIVICUS: World Alliances for Citizen Participation’s Youth Action Team, he advises civil society organizations worldwide on best ways to get young people involved in the decision making and implementation process. He is also an active member of several Pan-African circles such as the African Youth Movement, the league of African web activists Africtivistes.

Babaluku

Born Silas Babaluku Balabyekkubo, Babaluku is a Ugandan rapper, musician, producer, community youth activist and social entrepreneur who raps in Luganda. He is the founder of "the Bavubuka Foundation, an organization committed to restoring hope and healing in communities. Bavubaka Foundation uses music and the arts to connect youth and empower them to become peace building community builders. They are dedicated to creating spaces and educational programs that nurture and empower a new generation of young leaders, in Uganda and all of Africa, who will use their voices to communicate positive messages and affect positive change in their communities and the world.


About PeaceTalks

PeaceTalks are a speaker series started by Vancouver non-profit PeaceGeeks, with the aim of engaging Canadians on discussions of critical and timely topics related to peace, human rights and tech

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The HiVE

128 West Hastings Street

Vancouver, BC V6B 1G8

Canada

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Refunds up to 1 day before event

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