Listen to this Article Now
In a time when digital narratives heavily influence our worldview, the role of African storytellers stands paramount. It is with great excitement that the African Union (AU) Information and Communication Directorate (ICD) unveils the commencement of the 2nd cohort of the African Union (AU) Media Fellowship Programme (AUMF).
Following an open call to participate in the esteemed AU Media Fellowship Programme, we received responses to over 6,000 applications from talented media professionals and content creators spanning the African continent and its diaspora. With a rigorous selection process anchored in innovation, creativity, and impact criteria, Twenty (20) outstanding Fellows have been meticulously chosen to join the second cohort. Each Fellow demonstrated a remarkable ability through their pitches, not just in terms of innovation but in their potent capacity to confront and counter harmful stereotypes that have long plagued narratives about Africa.
The AU Media Fellows 2023 are Adesewa Olofinko (Nigeria); Dámaso Nsue Eyang (Equatorial Guinea); David Casimir (Mauritius); Jacqueline Segahungu (Burundi); Jan Bornman (South Africa); Jibi Maring (South-Sudan); Joel Hevi (Togo); Keletso Thobega (Botswana); Maurice Thantan (Benin); Melissa Lemos (Mozambique); Meriyem Kokaina (Morocco); Moetasm Mohamed (Egypt); Mohamed Mohamud (Somalia); Nobantu Modise (Zambia); Prince Sankanu (Gambia); Ronald Musoke (Uganda); Tuyeimo Haidula (Namibia); Wakini Njogu (Kenya); William Kumwembe (Malawi); Yasmine Bouldjedri (Algeria).
In welcoming the AU Media Fellows to the programme, Ms. Leslie Richer, the African Union Director for Information and Communication, said, “We are immensely elated by the overwhelming enthusiasm and interest demonstrated by skilled media practitioners from every corner of Africa. To the 2023 Media fellows, amidst a pool of remarkable talent, it was your unique skills, visionary ideas, and relentless passion that truly set you apart. We heartily applaud you for this achievement. This moment serves as a testament to the vibrancy and potential within Africa’s media landscape, ready to be harnessed and elevated to global prominence,” added Director Leslie Richer with an air of optimistic anticipation.
The African Union Media Fellowship (AUMF) programme is designed to provide a unique platform for African journalists and content producers to enhance their capacity to reframe the African narrative and promote developmental journalism using new and emerging technologies. This fellowship is in line with the 2017 resolution by the African Union Ministers of Communication and Information Communication Technologies (STC-CICT) — a commitment to bolster media engagement as a potent tool to highlight the milestones of Agenda 2063. Additionally, the program resonates with the vision outlined in the AU Digital Transformation Strategy 2020-2030, underscoring the innovation propelled by ICT and emphasising the adaptive shifts essential for Africa to realise its developmental goals.
In support of the Fellowship programme, Dr Tobias Thiel, Country Director of the Deutsche Gesellschaft Für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Liaison Office to The African Union, said, “We are pleased to continue supporting the second cohort of the African Union Media Fellowship on behalf of Germany. The fellowship has been successful in empowering African media professionals – journalists and content creators – in their work, enhancing their skills and providing them a platform to cooperate and connect within the continent. The new cohort will continue to benefit from the invaluable knowledge and experience of the fellowship as they shape the pan-African narrative.”
In a riveting twelve-month journey, the selected Fellows will commence their experience with an enriching study tour to South Africa. This tour promises immersion in a diverse range of networking sessions hosted by esteemed AU organs and specialised agencies, including the AU Pan-African Parliament, African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD), Africa Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), and Africa Risk Capacity (ARC). The Fellows will also engage with prominent South African institutions such as the South Africa Broadcasting Commission (SABC), Department of Government Communication and Information Systems (GCIS), and Wits School of Journalism, the latter being the proud host of the 4th series of the AU Media Roundtable. This illuminating journey will conclude with a Media Lab retreat facilitated by seasoned AU Media Fellowship Mentors and a Design Thinking Session delivered at the UCT Business School by D-Lab.
“We are dedicated to cultivating a space where African stories are not just told but are amplified on the global stage, reflecting the profound depth of talent, culture, and innovation that pulses through our continent,” stated Director Leslie Richer. She added, “I look forward to seeing the outcomes of this Fellowship as a platform for promoting Africa’s Agenda 2063 and telling a balanced story about the realities of Africa’s development and the opportunities for promoting socio-economic solutions that are defined and driven by Africans and benefit Africans in the digital age”.
Note to Editor
The AU Media Fellowship programme is implemented by the African Union (AU), Information and Communication directorate, supported by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).