Journalist ready for African Development Forum

(WANJOHI KABUKURU ADDIS ABABA 10TH/October 2010)  For the last three days now, the Africa Climate Policy Centre (ACPC), in collaboration with the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), have been holding a hands-on training workshop for journalists in the run-up to the Seventh African Development Forum (ADF) which opens in Addis Ababa on Monday.

ACPC has been holding a journalists training workshop here in Addis Ababa in readiness for the continent’s largest gathering of development technocrats, the African Development Forum.

“We are expecting some 600 delegates drawn from the various actors involved in development. Private sector, government, civil society actors, media and the entire terrain involved in development we expect them all here. We decided to hold this training as a means to empower our journalists to be able to report accurately on the deliberations we expect to have during ADF.” Yinka Adeyemi, communications advisor to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa says.

40 select African environmental journalists from all corners of the continent under the theme “Getting it Right: Reporting Climate Change for Sustainable Development in Africa” were accorded specialized training in concordance with the ADF’s main theme which is  “Acting on climate change for sustainable development in Africa”.

“Fully aware of the role of the media we are counting on the media to play a leading role in ADF. There are many issues that cut across the climate change debate. These include climate mitigation, climate adaptation and the general North-South divide. All these and how Africa is reacting are issues we seek our journalists to be able to articulate once the weeklong ADF conference opens.” Adeyemi says.

Osita Anaedu an African negotiator at the Climate Change urged journalists to pay particular attention on the negotiation processes. “Africa must both adapt and mitigate climate change. Africa cannot afford to go on mitigation alone.” He noted.

The training workshop held in the United nations Conference Centre (UNCC) is stepped at enhancing both the skills and the understanding of reporters on all matters pertaining to climate change with a bias of Africa’s position in this global phenomenon.

“We were also seeking to improve the skills of our journalists on how best to slant stories to make them front page news.” Veteran Uganda journalist Patrick Luganda says. “How a story is packaged, the delivery of it, the factual interpretation and general presentation are ingredients of a good story and we stressed on these aspects.”

Award winning journalist Jaspreet Kindra of IRIN Johannesburg shared her personal experiences in reporting climate change right from the rural hamlets of Eritrea to the huge international conferences of Copenhagen and Bali.