Two Kenyan universities are among the beneficiaries of a three-year commitment of Sh860 million from Bloomberg Philanthropies to, among other things, establish training programmes for local journalists.
One-time New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and founder of Bloomberg LP Tuesday announced that the Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa will build media capacity, convene international leaders meetings and improve access to information aimed at advancing transparency, accountability and governance on the continent.
Bloomberg said it will partner with faculties of journalism at the University of Nairobi and the Strathmore Business School to develop and deliver educational programmes focused on business, economics, public policy, finance and journalism.
This is hoped to enhance skills and knowledge of media professionals. Also to benefit will be four universities in Nigeria and South Africa.
Timely and accurate reporting of business and financial matters plays a critical role in advancing efficient markets and is a key driver in supporting economic and social growth.
The programmes will seek to strengthen business and economic news coverage, expand training programmes for journalists and provide greater access to reliable data about Africa.
Nation Media Group CEO Linus Gitahi welcomed the initiative saying, more and well-trained journalists serve the public interest by enabling the media to provide fuller coverage of key development issues. We applaud Bloomberg for making this welcome investment in the education and training of African journalists.
At the same time, Bloomberg announced it planned to collaborate with the Mo Ibrahim Foundation and ONE, as well as international institutions such as United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the African Development Bank on a feasibility study to explore a platform for accessible, comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date economic data to promote African development.
The Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa will provide cross-disciplinary education programmes and mid-career fellowships to increase the number of highly-trained business and financial journalists.
It will also convene pan-African forums to examine worldwide media best practices and support research to stimulate media innovations.
Reliable data and financial analysis bring transparency to markets and promote sound economic development and they can help keep Africa growing and creating opportunity, said Mr Bloomberg.
This effort to deepen the coverage of complex issues holds the promise of advancing good governance and transparency, strengthening civil society organisations and providing the citizens … with crucial information, said Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation.