In Africa How General Electric is shaping media coverage on energy and infrastructure

Learn how General Electric is shaping media coverage and conversations on Energy and Infrastructure issues in Africa.

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Renowned technology and infrastructure leader, General Electric (GE) took a strategic decision to sponsor the Energy & Infrastructure Category of the CNN/Multichoice African Journalist Awards last year. play

Renowned technology and infrastructure leader, General Electric (GE) took a strategic decision to sponsor the Energy & Infrastructure Category of the CNN/Multichoice African Journalist Awards last year.

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For years, Africa has lagged behind in infrastructure. In fact, the continent is expected to invest around $100 billion a year over the next decade in order to meet its infrastructural needs, according to the African Development Bank (AfDB).

While some African countries are far ahead of others in terms of their investments into energy and infrastructure, data from the Africa Progress Panel estimates that it will still take the continent until 2080 to achieve universal access to electricity at the present rate of progress.

Because the media needs to continue reporting on the issues around energy and infrastructure, it has become imperative for African journalists to better tell the stories — highlighting the key issues that would shape conversations around energy and infrastructure.

Thanks to a partnership with African Media Initiative (AMI), General Electric (GE) is boosting media coverage in Africa for Energy and Infrastructure issues. The company says the partnership provides the necessary expertise required in shaping media understanding of the Energy and Infrastructure sector.

 

In October, GE gathered together some 20 journalists from the East Africa region to undergo basic training on the Energy sector in Africa, and on using sector data to tell impactful stories that will enrich media content and better inform citizens.

The training explored the importance of covering the energy sector, the weaknesses identified in coverage of infrastructure and energy-related issues, as well as the use of data and cutting edge technologies to craft and disseminate media messages for audiences across all platforms.

Through the training programme, journalists were encouraged to publish and broadcast stories that drive the development agenda and clearly outline the critical role that energy and infrastructure play in the growth of national economies.

Patricia Obozuwa, Director of Communications for GE Africa said the initiative was part of GE’s efforts to support developmental journalism through capacity building — adding that, media if properly harnessed, can play a key role in influencing development of societies.

The training programme was the first in a series of regional training events that GE will sponsor to create an Africa-wide network of journalists specializing in reporting on Energy and Infrastructure.

The African Media Initiative (AMI) is a pan-African organization that seeks to strengthen the continent’s private and independent media sector from an owner and operator perspective to promote democratic governance, social development and economic growth.

AMI’s overall goal is to promote the development of pluralistic media as a necessary and critical ingredient of democratic governance, as well as economic and human development in Africa.

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