Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa delivers Financial Journalism Training to almost 200 South African journalists

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Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg L.P. and Bloomberg Philanthropies
Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg L.P. and Bloomberg Philanthropies

Training program now expands to, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania and Zambia; training to be delivered in Francophone countries for the first time

188 South African journalists have graduated from the Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa’s (BMIA) Financial Journalism Training (FJT) program since the program launched in 2014 to advance financial journalism and improve access to accurate, reliable data on the continent.  A report, released today, highlights how the first phase of the program has directly impacted more than 1,000 key individuals, the media outlets they influence and the people they serve across three of Africa’s leading economies: Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.

The training program in South Africa was delivered in partnership with Rhodes University School of Journalism and Media Studies and Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria. It aims to increase the number of skilled financial journalists and analysts, who are better able to interpret business, finance and economics and cover critical economic development issues on the continent. Graduates from the program are now employed by some of South Africa’s leading media houses including South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), Media 24 and Times Media Group. More than half of graduates are women. Rhodes University School of Journalism and Media Studies has elected to permanently adopt the course, ensuring that future journalists will contribute to the development of a globally competitive media and financial reporting in Africa. The next intake will start the program in September 2019.

Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg L.P. and Bloomberg Philanthropies, said: “Reliable, accessible financial reporting is critical to driving sustainable economic growth and good governance. The expansion of the Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa to five new countries will significantly further our mission to advance financial journalism and transparency on the continent.”

Based on the initial success of the program in South Africa, as well as Kenya and Nigeria, BMIA today announced the expansion of its FJT program to Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and Tanzania, joining Ghana and Zambia where training programs launched earlier this year. The expansion to Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire will see the Training Program delivered in Francophone Africa for the first time.

More than 100 delegates will take part in the first intake of the training in the three newest countries that will be offered in partnership with university partners in each country. This unique educational offering will support the development of financial journalism and contribute to African economic growth.

Four intakes of the interactive, hands-on Training Program were previously offered in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa graduating 568 delegates from 13 countries. Close to 70% of delegates were journalists and representatives of the media. The first intakes in Ghana and Zambia are currently underway and have enrolled 91 delegates.

During the next six months, the delegates will spend 19 days in interactive sessions led by prominent faculty at local universities and will cover topics to strengthen their skills in and understanding of data analysis, capital markets, accounting, public policy, economics and the transforming media landscape.  Financial journalism sessions will be taught by Bloomberg News reporters. Delegates will also receive a free, six-month subscription to the Bloomberg Terminal, offering access to global data, news and analysis.

The Financial Journalism Training program is a core component of the BMIA, which aims to contribute to the advancement of business and financial reporting in Africa. The BMIA is a project of Bloomberg Philanthropies.  The FJT program in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania and Zambia will also receive support from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

“We are very excited to see the start of this new phase of the Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa Financial Journalism Training program. The Stavros Niarchos Foundation is proud to partner with Bloomberg in helping equip a global talent pool of journalists with the sort of specialist expertise that can propel them towards attaining a high level of professional excellence. This is the basis of a robust, ethical, independent press, which now seems to be more critical than ever,” said Andreas Dracopoulos, Co-President of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF).

Since its launch in 2014, BMIA has reached more than 1,000 stakeholders in Africa. BMIA has also sponsored four annual conferences for media owners and senior leaders in business, government and civil society, with the most recent taking place in Livingstone in November 2018, with 320 leaders representing 25 countries in attendance. The program has also offered a Fellowship for editors and senior journalists, which has been completed by 45 Fellows and a fund to promote community media and citizen journalism – the Community Media Fund – which ten organizations have received grants from in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. The Ford Foundation has been a leading supporter of these programs.

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