Panafrican News Agency

Journalist Alcinou Louis da Costa’s body makes final journey back home

Paris, France (PANA) – A solem ceremony was held at the funeral parlour of Les Batignolles in Paris on Monday as body of journalist Alcinou Louis da Costa, symbolic figure of African press, began its final journey back home to Dakar for burial.

In the presence of his widow Juliette, his children, close relatives and allies, the body of the journalist was sent to the at Saint-François Xavier church where Patrick Chauvet said a requiem mass.

In his sermon, Chauvet spoke about the long and exceptional career of da Costa, saying he was a dynamic journalist, international and exemplary senior official and a talented international consultant.

The Congolese ambassador to Paris, Henri Lopès, the Guinean ambassador to Paris, Amara Camara, the former UNESCO secretary-general for Africa, Noureini Tidjani Serpos, representatives of the international francophone organization, the Association for Africa’s Education Development (ADEA), the Pan-African News Agency (PANA) attended the ceremony.

The outgoing Cape Verdian president, Pedro Pires, paid glowing tribute to the former chief editor of the pro-government Senegalese news agency (APS) and former director of the Catholic weekly magazine Afrique-Nouvelle.

French journalist Hervé Bourges, ex-colleague of da Costa and former spokesperson of Amadou Mactar Mbow, former UNESCO managing director, stressed the professional qualities of the deceased.

"Alcinou was an honest and rigourous journalist. He was of service to Africa and humanity. He always fought for Africa to speak with one single voice within the framework of the world new information order. We happened to work together for that cause at UNESCO and I proudly realize that the fight was not in vain,” Mr Bourges, former managing director of RFI, TF1 TV channel and the International high school of journalism in Yaoundé (ESIJY), told PANA.

Speaking shortly after the mass, Mrs Sue William, head of UNESCO news services, spoke about the "human and exceptional qualities" da Costa, known for his honesty and humour.

"Alcinou was a big chap; he helped me to join UNESCO. We closely worked together for many years in Paris, at the headquarters and even during events outside the headquarters. He would show energy and work with exemplary devotion. He was an extraordinary human being,” Mrs William said.

The body of the Senegalese journalist, mentor of African press, who died at the age of 72 following an illness, will be flown to the Senegalese capital, where he will be buried on Wednesday afternoon at the cemetery of Saint Lazare Bethany.