The African Union Media Fellowship Programme for 2023-2024 is calling for applications from media professionals in Africa. Indeed, the call is for media practitioners who are passionate about promoting development-focused stories. As an IT practitioner and advocate for digital development, I find it impressive that the fellowship seeks participants involved in exploiting emerging technologies across multiple media platforms.
Media Empowerment, Empowered Society, Authentic Narrative
Technology awareness and advocacy in Africa in the digital era were my initial reasons for pioneering web content about Africa through Jidaw.com. At Jidaw, we were one of the first to run technology programs for media professionals. However, I soon found out that the narrative about Africa in the African and global media was always a stumbling block. African media coverage is generally inaccurate, stereotypical, and often skewed to fit non-African interests. My Jidaw experiences show that we must ensure the African media contributes to creating the authentic narrative.
The Information and Communication Directorate (ICD) of the African Union (AU)’s launch of the AU Media Fellowship is, therefore, a positive development. Media technology capacity building is important; however, the fourth industrial Revolution demands more from us. Basically, we, as Africans, must tell and shape the African story. Jidaw is Africa centred, so it resonates. Empowering media professionals must now include building capacity to meet the need for a more accurate representation of Africa’s progress and opportunities.
I find it commendable that the fellowship also aims to foster the application of emerging digital technologies as an important vehicle. Indeed, Jidaw has always campaigned about the need to use modern tools for meaningful communication and engagement in this era. The AU Media Fellowship aims to be an enabler for Africa to accomplish the vision and objectives set forth in Agenda 2063.
Furthermore, the AU Media Fellowship project is supported by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). GIZ does so on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
Objectives of The African Union Media Fellowship Programme
- Skill Development
Through the AU Media Fellowship (AUMF), participants can develop their skills and knowledge in analysis, content creation, and storytelling.
- Networking & Collaboration
Generally, the AU Media Fellowship (AUMF) will serve as a bridge to engage with stakeholders. These will include fellow industry professionals, content creators, government officials, policy makers, and key players. These connections will foster valuable opportunities for collaboration.
- Access to Resources
As part of the AU Media Fellowship (AUMF), participants are provided with access to various resources. These include: technical resources, tools, and equipment, including grants and cutting-edge technology.
What can participants expect from the African Union Media Fellowship?
- Expertise through certified training from reputable partners and media establishments.
- Access grants for in-depth story creation and e-books compilation. Interact with senior AU leaders, policymakers, and development partners.
- Benefit from exclusive masterclasses with media industry experts and mentoring support at key media events.
The African Union Media Fellowship Programme Themes:
The following are the thematic tracks: Gender and Women Empowerment, Advancing Trade, Investment, and Industrialisation, Agricultural development, Environmental Protection and Climate action, Culture and Creative Industries & Sports Development, Governance & Democracy and Transforming Africa through Digital Innovation and Regional Integration and Economic Cooperation.
Significantly, Africa’s Digital Transformation Strategy is covered in the Digital Innovation thematic area. I am certified in accelerating the implementation of the Science, Technology, and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA). STISA is indispensable to create the Africa we want. Therefore, I hope there will also be considerable attention given to STISA.
Altogether this is an impressive initiative. CLOSED. NOT RECEIVING APPLICATIONS PRESENTLY. Find out more here: African Union Media Fellowship
Author: Jide Awe
Science, Technology and Innovation policy advisor.
Find him on Twitter @jidaw