‘ Harnessing Africa’s mineral wealth to finance sustainable development’ was the theme of the 2017 edition of the Africa Media Training Programme. The brief workshop which took place at the University of Witwatersrand’s School of Governance between 17 and 19 July 2017, brought together 17 journalists from 11 countries from across the continent. The participants mostly drawn from Anglophone Africa, were selected for their experience in covering the extractives and familiarity with financial journalism.
The three-day training provided the participants with an introduction to the tax justice movement in Africa before tackling key issues in journalism and the extractive sector in Africa today. Participants were taken through the sessions by long-time friends of Tax Justice Network Africa, Finance Uncovered and Open Up (formerly Code4South Africa) as well as one of South Africa’s best investigative journalists, Khadija Sharif. The participants also got an opportunity to interact with US-based economist and investigative journalist, James Henry as well as Fulbright fellow, Jeff Kelly Lowenstein. The media training was the first time TJNA and Wits were working together, with the latter availing one of its brightest in the field of political and economic governance, Prof. Patrick Bond, to take the participants through domestic resource mobilisation in Africa and achievement of different development agenda (see programme). TJNA also fed into the discussions on CSO perspectives and regional efforts through Kwesi Obeng (Policy Lead on Tax and Extractives) and its Executive Director (Alvin Mosioma).
The programme featured interactive sessions allowing participants to get a different perspective of the effect of mismanagement of natural resources and the need for enforcement of laws that safeguard the interests of the people. This was done through film and a round-tour of Johannesburg, featuring a tour of the country’s constitutional court.
More on the Africa Media Training Programme:
- The media training programme has been running on annual basis since 2015.
- The programme is as a result of a gap in financial reporting in Africa as tax matters are often viewed as complex and dynamic to comprehend. Taxation issues are often covered as negligible financial matters, often not receiving the prominence that they ought.
- The programme is supported by Financial Transparency Coalition, the William and Flora Hewlett Fund and the Global Alliance for Tax Justice.