RCA Flag
RCA Flag
Connecting Africa’s Skilled Professionals
RCA Flag

ReConnect Africa is a unique website and online magazine for the African professional in the Diaspora. Packed with essential information about careers, business and jobs, ReConnect Africa keeps you connected to the best of Africa.

Library of Articles

Image London Plays Host to Africa's Most Ambitious Journalist Training Programme.

Omari Issa, CEO of the Investment Climate for Africa (ICF) on the groundbreaking training programme for African journalists organised by the ICF and the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

The decision to move to a new city, country, or job, is normally taken after diligent research. The media can be a rich seam of answers to any uncertainties, but newspapers, magazines and online sources cease being useful if they are considered biased, censored or simply inaccurate. In the same way any doubts about the integrity of media can also affect investment decisions at both a private and institutional level.

When considering how explicit and accurate reporting can enforce accountability, expose corruption and transform investor perceptions, the relationship between transparent media and a healthy investment climate becomes obvious. The 2005 Commission for Africa Report highlighted the media's ability to encourage sustainable development, fight corruption and promote good governance, and this is a belief shared by the Investment Climate Facility for Africa (ICF).

Investment Climate for Africa (ICF)

ICF is a unique partnership of private companies, development partners and governments which work together to remove real and perceived barriers that exist to doing business in Africa. This work is founded on the principle that a healthy investment climate is vital for the continent's economic growth.

ICF knows that without improvements to the continent's media, investors will continue to be deterred by real or perceived barriers to doing business in Africa. These improvements will only come from journalists actively seeking out news, challenging sources, analysing stories through investigative research and taking a holistic and independent angle on their stories.

Without improvements to the continent's media, investors will continue to be deterred by real or perceived barriers to doing business in Africa.

International newswires will continue to play a role in continent's reporting, but the continent's journalism must also be very much 'by Africa for Africa' because no other party is better placed to report on the stories that are happening on the continent, as they happen. These are the reasons why ICF chose to fund training of African journalists.

Training journalists to change headlines - and the future of Africa's investment climate

Image The training was facilitated by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, and aimed to help African journalists to broaden the journalistic and business analysis skills that are relevant to reporting on the continent.

More than 75 participants from 17 African countries were shortlisted for the programme which was held in two phases. The first comprised six introductory sessions held across Africa, in English, French and Portuguese.

Each journalist was then encouraged to put theory into practice, through multiple source gathering and story writing exercises, with simulated scenarios and tight deadlines.

The course also called on topical issues, as explained by Lenny Njau of Kenya's The People Daily newspaper:

"The course was a brilliant idea and the timing could not have been much better. At a time when the world is engulfed in financial crises, nothing is more important than giving people the most accurate information. As a budding journalist, I feel much more knowledgeable and open minded in making judgments, having taken part in ICF's inaugural course."

Following a first phase in Africa, the most promising 15 journalists were invited to attend two advanced courses in Paris and London. Journalists were able to hone their learning further, to meet peers from the other African countries, exchange ideas and experiences, and immerse themselves in the respective European countrys commerce and media.

While in Paris, meetings were organised with l Agence Franchaise de Developpement and the OECD, and the journalists visited the Elysees Cellule Africaine where participants attended a lecture on President Sarkozys African Policy. In London, meetings were held with the African Development Bank and the UK Department for International Development (DIFD), and field trips were made to the London Stock Exchange.

Reporting 'by Africa for Africa'

The feedback from journalists was very positive, with confirmation that the course had created a unique opportunity for the participating journalists to test their skills in very practical ways. The journalists also said the course left them with a very clear understanding of the direct link between the confidence of domestic and foreign investors and their confidence in the nations media.

Through this, ICF is confident that the journalists have now returned to their home countries with a better comprehension of the critical role they play in their nations' economic development. It is hoped that this understanding, and the skills acquired during the courses, will be shared amongst colleagues and upwards to editors.

ICF is confident that training African journalists is one of the most efficient ways to quickly and effectively improve Africa's investment climate and ensure that more of the continent's financial and business reporting is "by Africa for Africa."

Journalists, as well as editors, publishers and outlet managers, have a very real responsibility to help transform Africa's reputation as a place to do business and the reasons are simple - accurate reporting can directly contribute to informed, confident investor decisions, which in turn can help stimulate wider economic growth.

For more information on ICF, please visit www.icfafrica.org.

Welcome to the new, upgraded ReConnect Africa website.
Please help us provide you with information relevant to your needs by completing the fields below (just this once!)