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February 19, 2016

African Industrialisation Investigation & Workshop 2016: Probing China’s Role in Africa Following FOCAC6

The Wits China-Africa Reporting Project is seeking applications from journalists to participate in a collaborative investigation and workshop focused on current Africa-China industrialisation initiatives in Africa, aiming to probe the social and environmental impact of industrialisation on the continent.

The Wits China-Africa Reporting Project (the Project) will bring a group of selected journalists to Johannesburg to attend a short workshop at Wits Journalism in late May 2016 to facilitate training and coordination, and will then issue the journalists with reporting grants to produce investigative features.

The Project invites journalists to submit proposals aimed at investigating the FOCAC 2015 Action Plan goals for industrialisation in Africa as outlined below. Successful applicants will refine their chosen topics during the short workshop, as well as discuss collaborative ventures with other journalists and receive practical skills training for covering industrialisation in Africa.

For deadlines and details on how to apply, please see How to apply section below.


Industrialisation – A priority for 2016-2018

Industrialisation in Africa is a fundamental component of both China's Africa Policy 2016 and the African Union’s Agenda 2063. The Action Plan for 2016-2018 released after the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit in Johannesburg in December 2015 identified industrialisation as “imperative to ensure Africa's independent and sustainable development”.

The Action Plan outlines the following specific goals, which journalists are encouraged to explore in their applications:

  • Industry partnering and industrial capacity cooperation between China and Africa
  • Combining China's competitive industries and high-quality industrial capacity with Africa's industrialisation and economic diversification
  • Transferring Chinese labour-intensive competitive industrial capacities to Africa in an orderly way
  • Setting up pilot and demonstration programmes in several African countries, establishing or upgrading industrial parks and supporting the development of infrastructure and public service facilities
  • Sending of senior Chinese government experts and consultants to African countries to offer advice and assistance
  • Continual improvement of laws, regulations and infrastructure in African countries, and the introduction of preferential policies and improve government services, and
  • Never pursuing development at the cost of the long-term interests and environments of host countries

Coordination and training workshop

The selected journalists will undertake a workshop of about five days at Wits Journalism in Johannesburg during the week of 23 May. The aims of the workshop will be to refine and coordinate selected topics, explore collaborative efforts, and to provide journalists with focused training and practical skills development for covering Africa-China and industrialisation in Africa. The Project may also arrange visits to South African newsrooms and other engagements during the time of the workshop.

The workshop will include training on the following:

  • Introduction to Africa-China engagements
  • Multimedia aspects of Africa-China journalism
  • Fact-checking for African journalism by Africa Check
  • Feature writing, sub-editing and cultivation of sources
  • Business and financial journalism
  • Covering FOCAC and industrialisation in Africa

The Project will provide for the journalists to visit South Africa and for their stay in Johannesburg for the duration of the workshop.

How to apply

Journalists are invited to send applications addressing the requirements below in an email entitled



Applications should contain the following:

  • Proposal with a relevant topic indicating clearly the country/region focus and specific cases of Africa-China industrialisation initiatives to be investigated, along with a budget for costs relating to the reporting grant
  • Applicant CV
  • List of applicant’s previous published reporting on Africa and/or Africa-China, including online links where available

Please take note of the following when preparing proposals:

  • Applicants must be available to travel to South Africa in May 2016, and be regsitered as a Wits vendor to receive funding for a reporting grant, and produce the resulting feature within a specific period (see Project guidelines)
  • Journalists are encouraged to conduct preliminary research on the current role of China in the industrialisation of the relevant African country or region, ideally demonstrating an understanding of Chinese and African policy and practice on the matter
  • Journalists are encouraged to identify specific cases of Africa-China industrialisation initiatives in the relevant African country or region, and to gauge on-the-ground impact and perspectives
  • Journalists are encouraged to keep in mind the Project’s guidelines for reporting grants, which call among other things for proposals with a relatively narrow focus around specific projects or issues and provide details on budgeting

Only shortlisted applications will be notified. For any further questions please email Project staff at

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