The second edition of the Safaricom Business Journalism Fellowship was launched today at Strathmore Business School, a mid- career professional training set to educate 15 of the top best business reporters. The pioneering edition of the program graduated 13 of its participants in February, with the new intake expected to commence studies in August and graduate next year in February. The three-modular program will take eight months, during which journalists will be expected to finish a 30-hour credit course before they can graduate.
Africa’s robust pool of natural resources, predisposes it to limitless opportunities, simultaneously, an attractive hub for investment, and business growth. Although the continent’s bestowed blessings are magnanimous, efforts to harness it have not been as fulfilling. Africa’s economic landscape however is taking off rather swiftly, with investors eying the African continent, synonymous to the worldwide attention Kenya attracted during the Global Entrepreneurship Summit.
The role of the media in Africa’s renaissance cannot be disdained. Addressing the audience during the launch, Dr. George Njenga- Dean Strathmore Business School emphasized on the role of journalists in creating an open window for investments through in-depth analytical business reporting. He remarked that journalism isn’t just a career but a public good which should be handled with the significance it deems. “You are not just history tellers, but the carriers of hope through the conveyance of public good,” he urged journalists. He also shared his dream of seeing the program grow, and even further, flourish into an Institute which will facilitate the convergence of worldwide business journalists.
Safaricom’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Mr. Steve Chege, echoed similar sentiments stipulating the need for journalists to be skin deep in business reporting, whilst raising bars beyond corporate figures. He accorded due praise exemplified by the first group of journalists, commending Philip Mwasia and Sammy Lutta on their outstanding business reporting.
Speaking during the launch, Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore highlighted the changes in the media landscape occasioned by the impact of social media, and challenged the media to re-learn their audiences so as to deliver impactful news stories. “It’s time for business journalists to challenge the notion that Kenyan audiences are more interested in politics than they are in the development of the economy and how it affects them. The just ended Global Entrepreneurship Summit is proof that audiences are interested in business news.” He said. “But to do this, successful journalists must be armed with an understanding of the business environment and how to cover business news.”