Journalists from across Africa gather in Nairobi to develop continent-wide network of trainers in climate change reporting

By IndepthAfrica
In Press Releases
Jan 13th, 2012
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NAIROBI, Kenya, January 13, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ — UNDP’s Africa Adaptation Programme’s (AAP) week-long ‘Training-of-Trainers’ workshop starts Monday

Kenyan youth journalist Audrey Wabwire to speak on her journey by bus caravan to COP17

WHO: Joachim Buwembo and Emmanuel Wongibe, project Team Leaders)

Audrey Wabwire, participant in recent youth bus caravan from Nairobi to Durban

Mr Yoichiro Yamada, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Japan, Kenya

WHAT: AAP’s climate journalism trainers workshop

WHERE: Jacaranda Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya

WHEN: 9am, Monday 16 January 2012 (light breakfast will be provided)

WHY: What turns a drought into a human disaster is poverty. To be poor is to be vulnerable, not just to the extremes of climate, but to any threat, from earthquakes to disease.

Development offers the only path out of poverty. This is why the AAP is supporting the efforts of 20 African governments to strengthen their capacities in five areas crucial to achieving greater development effectiveness.

It’s a transformation that depends on the engagement of people throughout society, and the media play an indispensable role in this. To strengthen this role part of the AAP’s work focuses on the professional development of journalists. Africans need to know the stakes they are facing and the options available to them to prevent severe events causing human disasters.

AAP Programme Director Ian Rector will be available to meet with journalists on Monday afternoon in downtown Nairobi.

The UNDP’s Africa Adaptation Programme, created with the support of the Government of Japan, supports efforts to strengthen development effectiveness in 20 African countries: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tomé and Principe, Senegal, Tanzania and Tunisia.

MEDIA BACKGROUNDER

Telling the story of the century

Journalists from across Africa converge on Nairobi to learn how to teach climate change reporting

Throughout next week, journalists from 20 African countries will gather in Nairobi to discuss how to report the biggest story of our times: climate change.

They will come together under the media component of UNDP’s Africa Adaptation Programme. A multi-faceted initiative that works to strengthen national institutions and processes, the AAP urges better development as the only way African countries can sustainably navigate the challenges of both tomorrow and today. Its Media Capacity Building Project helps journalists gain access to the knowledge and networks needed to report effectively on climate change issues and to inform associated discussions and debates.

Having already trained more than 200 journalists in 11 countries, next week’s event forms a tipping point of sorts for the MCBP. At the ‘Training of Trainers’ one journalist from each of the 20 countries participating in the AAP will learn how to continue sharing the knowledge they have acquired with their peers in their home country. As the MCBP fans out through Africa the network of engaged and committed journalists it has assisted will continue to grow and develop, and discussion around this pivotal topic will benefit.

Joachim Buwembo, one of four senior journalists working as Team Leaders for the project, endorses this assessment.

‘The TOT marks a turning point in this project. After holding a series of successful local sessions around the continent, my colleagues and I can now prepare the next wave of trainers who will ensure this work continues.’

He says the project helps African media outlets fulfil their mandate.

‘Climate change is a story that must be told in Africa, and our journalists must have access to the knowledge and networks needed to tell it properly. I’m proud to be a part of a project that enables this.’

Kenya’s participant in the TOT, Beatrice Obwocha of The Standard, is similarly optimistic about the broad roll-out of the project.

‘The local training a group of my peers and I undertook was enormously beneficial. It highlighted how climate change is an issue that cuts across many of the ‘beats’ reporters cover and helped us develop ways of getting this story into the news cycle.

‘Given how crucial discussion and debate of this topic is to the future of our country I’m very happy that I’ll be able go on to share this knowledge with other Kenyan journalists.’

Journalists are invited to attend the opening of the Training of Trainers at the Jacaranda Hotel at 9am on Monday 16 January. A panel comprising Team Leaders Joachim Buwembo and Emmanuel Wongibe, and young Kenyan journalist Audrey Wabwire, who recently won an AAP Media Fellowship and was sponsored to travel to and report from COP17, will address those present and answer questions. A light breakfast will be provided.

For more information on the AAP’s Media Capacity Building Project visit

www.undp-aap.org/workareas/media-capacity

 

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