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Emmanuel Essis Esmel, director general of the Côte d'Ivoire Investment Promotion Center, explains how the church can use information and communication technology to reduce poverty. Photo by Bernard Atheba.

Photo by Bernard Atheba

Emmanuel Essis Esmel, director general of the Côte d'Ivoire Investment Promotion Center, explains how the church can use information and communication technology to reduce poverty.

Côte d’Ivoire hosts first Methodist Day of Information and Communication Technologies

 

By Isaac Broune
October 8, 2017 | ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire

The Côte d’Ivoire United Methodist Church launched its first Methodist Day of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) on July 29. The event was a day of information and training on information and communications technology for development.  

The theme of the event, “Succeeding in reducing poverty through ICTs,” is part of the implementation of one of the Four Areas of Focus by the conference and aims at encouraging young innovators and public and private enterprises run by Methodists in the ICT sector who have developed innovative solutions. This year’s Côte d’Ivoire Annual Conference issued an encouragement for every local church to see how it could implement systems to reduce poverty in their areas.

Participants at the Côte d’Ivoire United Methodist Day of Information and Communication Technologies visit the exhibition stands to acquaint themselves with tools for fighting poverty. Photo by Bernard Atheba.

Participants at the Côte d’Ivoire United Methodist Day of Information and Communication Technologies visit the exhibition stands to acquaint themselves with tools for fighting poverty. Photo by Bernard Atheba.

A technology demonstration gave the 130 participants, pastors and lay members alike, the opportunity to meet face-to-face with entrepreneurs to present their ideas and receive experts’ advice in cloud computing, church mapping, mobile banking and solar energy.

In the program, presenters stressed the need to use technology to tell the story of the church and reach out to the poor and the marginalized. Speakers included the Rev. Isaac Bodje, conference secretary; Louis Aboua, conference lay leader; Dominique Régine Tayoro, conference director of communication; and Isaac Broune, representing United Methodist Communications.

Quoting from the communications agency’s website, Broune said, “Just as John Wesley used the popular media of his day … we also utilize current forms of media and technology to carry out the mission and ministry of the church.”

Emmanuel Essis Esmel, director general of the Investment Promotion Center of Côte d'Ivoire, was the president of this year’s event.

The following people and institutions received awards:

  • Bishop Benjamin Boni, Côte d’Ivoire Episcopal Area, for promoting technology for development.
  • Emmanuel Essis Esmel, as the best Methodist CEO in the private or public sector.
  • Radio La Voix de l’Espérance (Voice of Hope), as the church institution making the best use of ICT.
  • The district of Abengourou, for being the foremost district in the use of ICT tools.
  • SMEI, a company that develops computer and software solutions, for being the best United Methodist start-up.