By Rose Wangui
African journalists have been challenged to take charge and redefine Africa’s narrative through balanced and objective reporting.
Journalists and content creators must rise to the occasion and change the narrative that African people suffer.
This call was made during the recently concluded 55th training course for young African journalists in Cairo, Egypt.
Twenty-two young journalists drawn from different countries in Africa took part in the three-week program.
The training, organized by the Union of African Journalists (UAJ), takes place every year in Cairo.
The participants were taken through a rigorous program that sought to sharpen their skills and deepen their understanding of Africa’s issues and how they can plug in as the public’s watchdog.
“Africa is a great continent, we have many resources, and it is our duty as media practitioners to ensure these resources are put to good use. UAJ has and continues to empower journalists across Africa through such training seminars. We hope that when you return to your countries, you will put all the lessons learned to good use,” said Mr Mahfouz Al Ansari, the president of UAJ.
The training seminar is designed to empower African journalists and enhance their capacity to tell compelling stories about the continent and provide solutions through their work.
UAJ Secretary General Dr Samia Abbas echoed the call for telling balanced narratives about Africa and its people and urged the participants to use their skills and voices in creating an accurate picture of the realities of Africa and its development agenda.
The Kenya Union of Journalists Secretary General Mr Eric Oduor, who chaired the roundtable discussion on sustainable development in Africa, called for the protection of journalists who expose the rot in their governments.
Mr Oduor said media freedom and the safety of journalists are core elements of any functioning democracy.
“ Corruption, human rights violations, and many other ills in society come to light because of the work of journalists. Therefore, we must protect and ensure their safety at all costs,” said Mr Oduor.
The course was facilitated by the cream of crop experts from different sectors.
The participants also got a chance to tour different historical sites in Egypt and came face to face with centuries-old artefacts and other objects stored in different museums.
PHOTOS | Promise Twinamukye.
Ms. Rose Wangui is a Kenyan Journalist and a member of the KUJ Gender Committee.