The Wits Centre for Journalism’s Africa-China Reporting Project (ACRP or Project), at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, is thrilled to announce its launch of the new ACRP Network and Africa Region Leads.
THE ACRP NETWORK OBJECTIVES
The Africa-China Reporting Project has since its establishment in 2009, continued to contribute towards improving the quality of reporting on African and Africa-China issues. This is accorded with the provision of facilitation and capacity building opportunities to journalists, media professionals, and academia in the form of reporting grants, skills training tools, resources, training workshops, forums and conferences, as well as research, investigations and other resources. The ACRP aims to amplify Africa’s perspectives to enhance its development within its engagements with global players.
The growing global influence of technology is affecting the media landscape, the general practice of journalism and the business of media and journalism. In addition, political and governance influence in the limitations placed on media freedoms, the pervasive surveillance state, has threatened the lives of journalists and rights to expression. The influence of online and social media platforms, the surge of influencers, bloggers, the use of 'bots' and artificial intelligence (AI) such as Chat GPT, journalism and media is presented with many opportunities, which are however countered with exceeding challenges.
ACRP NETWORK AFRICA REGION LEADS
The purpose of the ACRP Africa Network Region Leads is to assist in navigate the socio-political and economic status quo of media and journalism, through collaborative dialogues and engagements for media development. Further, to build professional networking and support, expand opportunities and resources for journalism and media professionals, researchers and scholars. And to garner advocacy within policy makers, for effective servicing of the local, on-the-ground communities and perspectives across the globe.
ACRP AFRICA NETWORK GEOGRAPHIC REGIONS
The Africa-China Reporting Project as guided by the African Union geoscheme for Africa, defined by the OAU, 1976, has elected five region leads to each of the five Africa geographic regions, representing the below countries.
Central Africa: Republic of Burundi, Republic of Cameroon, Central Africa Republic, Republic of Chad, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Gabonese Republic, Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe.
East Africa: Union of the Comoros, Republic of Djibouti, State of Eritrea, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Republic of Kenya, Republic of Madagascar, Republic of Mauritius, Republic of Rwanda, Republic of Seychelles, Federal Republic of Somalia, Republic of South Sudan, United Republic of Tanzania, Republic of Uganda.
North Africa: People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, Arab Republic of Egypt, Libya, Islamic Republic of Mauritania, Kingdom of Morocco, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, Republic of Tunisia.
Southern Africa: Republic of Angola, Republic of Botswana, Kingdom of Eswatini, Kingdom of Lesotho, Republic of Malawi, Republic of Mozambique, Republic of Namibia, Republic of South Africa, Republic of Zambia, Republic of Zimbabwe.
West Africa: Republic of Benin, Burkina Faso, Republic of Cabo Verde, Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, Republic of the Gambia, Republic of Ghana, Republic of Guinea, Republic of Guinea-Bissau, Republic of Liberia, Republic of Mali, Republic of Niger, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Republic of Senegal, Republic of Sierra Leone, Togolese Republic.
As a part of the objectives of this initiative, motivated by the expertise and continued extensive engagements and outputs within the ACRP’s initiatives, the Project elected to invite the below media professionals, journalists and researchers as the Region Leads to the ACRP Africa Network.
Dr. Mennatullah Hendawy is an interdisciplinary urban planner working on the intersections of cities, media, and technology toward equity and sustainability. She is an Assistant Professor at Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt. She is also affiliated with the University of California Santa Cruz, Impact Circles e.V., and the Center for Advanced Internet Studies (CAIS) gGmbH in Germany, and a recipient of the Africa-China Reporting grants series on Climate Change and the Climate Crisis, 2023.
Hendawy received her Ph.D. in 2021 from the faculty of Planning Building Environment at TU Berlin in Germany, graded: summa cum laude. In her Ph.D., she explored the mediatization of urban development in Cairo as a local yet global case. In 2015, Hendawy completed an MSc. in Integrated Urbanism and Sustainable Design from Stuttgart University with a focus on urban policies. Hendawy holds a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering from Ain Shams University in Cairo, Department of Urban Planning and Design (class 2012). Hendawy is the Principle investigator of the Urban AI MOOC that is part of the African Cities Lab initiative, funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs. Hendawy is also one of the founding members of Cairo Urban AI, a project working on exploring the potential of using artificial intelligence to develop just and sustainable cities.
Earlier she was a fellow at the Fellowship Program Datafication, European Societies of the European New School of Digital Studies (ENS) at European University Viadrina in Brandenburg, Germany, Orient Institute Beirut. Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, USA, and the Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space in Erkner, Germany.
Sharon .W. Kiburi is a multimedia data journalist based in Kenya. She is enthusiastic about learning, storytelling, embracing technologies, and navigating the nuances of communication for impact. She is a firm believer in the legendary words of Bram Stoker, “But we are strong, each in our purpose, and we are all more strong together.” Kiburi has participated in the ACRP Workshop on Digital Identity, Data & Technology in Africa, 28-31 October 2019. The Africa-China Reporting Project, has featured two of Kiburi’s publications in the New Book on Digital Identity, Data and Technology in Africa, 2022.
Michelle Agoh is a Nigerian multimedia journalist who reports on News, Politics, Development and Nature. She works as a full time broadcaster at Lagos Talks 91.3 FM and freelances as a writer. Michelle has participated in the ACRP-Paradigm Initiative Journalism Workshop on Digital Identity, Data & Technology in Africa, 23-26 August 2021, Abuja, Nigeria. She was a panelist for the ACRP in the Digital Rights and Inclusion Forum (DRIF22), Lagos, Nigeria. 27-28 April 2022. In addition, the Africa-China Reporting Project featured her publication in the New Book on Digital Identity, Data and Technology in Africa, 2022.
Dianah Chiyangwa is a Zimbabwean born photojournalist, writer, and curator based in Johannesburg South Africa. Her work focuses on women and children, migration, health, gender justice, climate change and environmental issues. Through Wits-Journalism/Africa China Reporting Project, Chiyangwa, has been awarded with Digital Identity in Africa 2019 and the Climate Crisis 2022 reporting grants. Dianah has also participated in the ACRP Wildlife Poaching & Trafficking Journalism Training Workshop, 9-12 July 2019, and the ACRP Workshop on Digital Identity, Data & Technology in Africa, 28-31 October 2019. The Africa-China Reporting Project, has featured one of Dianah’s publication in the New Book on Digital Identity, Data and Technology in Africa, 2022
Jacqueline Segahungu is a journalist, researcher, reporter and producer for local and international media, and a recipient of the Africa-China Reporting grants series on Climate Change and the Climate Crisis, 2023.
Her career began in 1995 with the co-founding of the first independent radio station in Burundi “Radio Umwizero” (Radio of Hope) where she started work as a news reporter, presenter and producer. Soon after, she became local correspondent for Voice of America and Africa N0 1. Segahungu has demonstrated capacity in fieldwork reporting, team building, coordination, networking initiatives and evets. She covers various topics such as refugees, health, human rights, and youth entrepreneurship. Her experience in marketing, as well as a trainer and mentor has brought her over the Great Lakes region countries; Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania working essentially for the United States Agency for Global Media (USAGM) and Voice Of America (VOA), Journalists for Human Rights (JHR), FreePress Unlimited and La Benevolencija. In 2015, Segahungu created GREEN MEDIA. In 2004, she was honored with David Burke Distinguished Journalism award. She also received an award in appreciation of her outstanding contribution as a country representative to the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) a broadcasting board of governors.