“Thank you for inviting me to the graduation ceremony today. I congratulate all of you on this achievement and for completing the annual journalism course as the 7th cohort. I am very happy to see the increasing number every year of female graduates in this profession. So, that is interesting. As a journalist, you are called to serve your fellow citizens by providing credible and accurate news and information. US Government through USAID has supported independent media and the professional capacity of journalists in South Sudan for over 20 years.

You may face intimidation, harassment, or violence when reporting on sensitive issues. But truly independent journalism must be free of censorship and without the fear of reprisal, attack, or detention for reporting the truth. Each of you would have a role in building a free, transparent, and inclusive South Sudan where every citizen’s voice can be heard,” Darren Manning, USAID Director, Office of Democracy and Governance, speaking during the 7th Graduation of Media Development Institute on 15 November 2023.