Relevance is of crucial importance for the ACRP to select proposals that closely adhere to its core ethos, i.e. the ACRP
The main objective is for journalists to investigate stories that illustrate how the lives of the people of Africa are being impacted, or how they themselves are shaping their own lives and futures. Usually proposals supported by the ACRP will employ the prism of Africa-China relations, i.e. the activities and impact of the Chinese government, companies, financiers and individuals in Africa, to conduct the investigation; but it is not in all cases a requirement to include an overt China angle or involvement. With the Public Health Reporting Grants in 2020, for example, the ACRP selected some proposals that did not have an explicit China focus but that closely adhere to the ACRP’s main objective as outlined above.
The ACRP’s identity, moreover, as expressed on its website is as “an African institution that supports Africa-China journalism that puts the interests of Africa and its people first”.
It is also crucial for a proposal supported by the ACRP to avoid a focus that is too wide or general, or too focused on political or academic matters (i.e. too far removed from ground-level impact). As per the ACRP guideline for reporting grants,
There is room for other organisations to support analysis of broad political issues and general trends in the Africa-China relationship, but the ACRP’s bottom-up approach is intended to explore Africa’s complex identity by enabling journalists to tell the continent’s stories and to enhance its development by facilitating a nuanced understanding of and optimal engagement with China – country by country, community by community, company by company. Hence it is essential for journalists to submit proposals to the ACRP that are indicative of issues and stories currently making an impact on ground-level Africa-China developments and interactions on the continent.