“The initiative is part of GE’s efforts to support developmental journalism through capacity building,” said Patricia Obozuwa, Director of Communications for GE Africa."
Media is the bastion of democratic society; it helps promote good governance, social development and economic growth. An informed and effective media can help drive sustainable development by throwing light on development initiatives underway, informing citizens about what’s happening in their country and how it will affect them.
While many countries have long-term plans and strategic visions for achieving their national development goals, implementation can be constrained by a lack of understanding of what the national development agenda means to ordinary people, and how it will benefit them.
Major infrastructure programmes can take years to complete before communities feel the benefits of these investments. An informed and knowledgeable media can help to tease out these issues and alert decision-makers to potential roadblocks.
In order to boost informative media coverage of energy and infrastructure issues in the region, GE partnered with the African Media Initiative (AMI) to offer journalists from East Africa training on Africa’s energy sector. The first workshop was held in Nairobi recently, equipping journalists with the technical knowledge to better use sector data, enabling them to tell impactful stories, to better inform citizens.
“The initiative is part of GE’s efforts to support developmental journalism through capacity building,” said Patricia Obozuwa, Director of Communications for GE Africa. “We recognise that if the media is properly harnessed it can play a key role in influencing the development of societies.”
This is the first in a series of regional training events that GE will sponsor.
Since 2014, GE has sponsored the prestigious annual CNN African Multichoice Journalist Awards in recognition of the media’s role in influencing sustainable development. The GE Energy and Infrastructure Award recognises outstanding journalists focusing on key sectors for Africa’s growth. This year, Kenyan journalist Paul Kelemba won for his piece on “Sorting out Nairobi Transport” published in the Standard on Sunday.
GE’s objective in supporting media training and recognising excellence is to equip journalists with the technical understanding they need to report effectively on sectors crucial to economic growth. Eventually, media will benefit from an Africa-wide network of journalists specialising in energy and infrastructure, who are able to effectively analyse and report their impact on development.