Journalists Undergo Training In Ethiopia -In Covering Africa-China Engagements

By Fredrick P. W. Gaye, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Participants at Ethiopia’s Eastern Industrial Zone on Tuesday

More than 20 African and Chinese journalists, selected through an application process, are undergoing a three-day training in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The journalists are being equipped them with knowledge, skills and training for covering current Africa-China engagements, focusing on the crucial sectors of agriculture, industrialization/manufacturing, climate change, United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and African Union Agenda 2063.

Oxfam International’s Africa-China Dialogue Platform and the Wits University (South Africa) Africa-China Reporting Project are conducting the training.

The media training began on Tuesday, September 5, 2017, with a field trip to the Chinese-built Eastern Industrial Zone outside Addis Ababa and the launch and discussions of an Oxfam Research Report, titled: “New Actors, New Models, New Outcomes? African Countries’ engagement with China and other Development Partners in Achieving the SDGs and Agenda 2063.”

Authored by Professor Chris Alden of the London School of Economics, the report highlights many issues on Africa’s engagement with global development partners to provide more effective support for implementation of the SDGs and Agenda 2063. Major among them are: unpacking China’s ‘new deal with Africa’ as seen through key SDG targets and Agenda 2063, emerging and traditional development partners in Africa: how they support Africa to address the SDGs and Agenda 2063 and setting the stage: from MDGs to SDGs, among others.

Wednesday’s session was intensive with professors researchers and other experts from AU and UN as well as journalists making presentations on what journalists have to know as they play their roles in Africa-China engagements.

Topics discussed during Wednesday’s session included: The role of the media and journalists in Africa-China Partnership: opportunities and challenges; Reporting Africa and China from the Perspective of the Agenda 2063, FOCAC (Forum on China Africa Cooperation) and SDGs; Africa-China Linkages in the Agricultural Sector and Climate Change: Case-based Challenges and Opportunities and Reporting Africa-China Industrialization: The pros and cons based case studies.

Facilitators include: Dr. Bob Wekesa of Wits University, Dr. Yoon Jung Park of Georgetown University, Dr. Kassim M. Khamis of AU, Dr. Paul Mpuga, Dr. Mr. Adama Coulibaly and Mr. James Murombedzi of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), UNIDO Goodwill Ambassaodor, Ms. Helen Hai, Dr. Alebel Bayu of the Ethiopian Development Research. Some journalists also shared their experiences.

During the opening ceremony chaired by the Program Manager of Oxfam International’s Africa-China Dialogue Platform, Mr. Gideon Jalata, various speakers stressed the need for journalists to know their roles in shaping the trend of Africa and China engagements. Pan Africa Director at Oxfam, Mr. Apllos Nwafor; the Project Coordinator of Africa-China Reporting Project, Mr. Barry van Wyk; and the Head of China Permanent Mission to AU, Ambassador Kuang Weilin made opening remarks.

The workshop is expected to climax Thursday, September 7, 2017. with participants working in group to discuss reporting angles on topics of their choice within agriculture, industrialization/manufacturing, climate change, SDGs and Agenda 2063.

Background

Africa-China relations have witnessed rapid development over nearly two decades. What do these relations portend for the two partners but more so for Africa, perceived as the weaker partner? The media plays a pivotal role as platform for debate on these issues, and will continue to shape the contours of Africa-China engagements. Both the Wits Africa-China Reporting Project and the Oxfam International’s Africa-China Dialogue Platform (ACDP) have these issues at the core of their missions and visions. In this joint and synergistic workshop the Africa-China Reporting Project will draw on its experience in the field of media and communications, while the Oxfam International’s Africa-China Dialogue Platform will leverage its unique location in Addis Ababa as well as track record in the Africa-China policy space.

The Wits Africa China Reporting Project is expected to financially support some of the journalists to do fieldwork on specific stories after the workshop.