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August 1, 2023

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: Critical Minerals for the Energy Transition Reporting Workshop

A China Dialogue Trust and Wits Africa-China Reporting Project workshop and reporting grants initiative.

China Dialogue Trust and the Wits Africa-China Reporting Project will hold a workshop on reporting on critical mineral resources for the global energy transition on 22-24 November 2023, at Wits University, Johannesburg, South Africa.

In a world transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy technologies, critical minerals play a crucial and yet contradictory role. They are central to universal access to clean energy and the global energy transition. On the other hand, their production is often polluting, environmentally damaging and inequitable.

Critical minerals have also become a new frontier for economic policy across the Global South. Governments in countries ranging from Zimbabwe to Chile and DR Congo to Indonesia are striving to overturn the prevalent extractivist model of raw material exports and capture more value from critical minerals production. New approaches such as export bans and resource and industrial policy are emerging.

While there are many actors involved in critical minerals in Africa, Chinese companies are emerging as particularly prominent players in mining, processing and investing in the industry. Perspectives on Chinese companies’ involvement in the critical minerals sector in Africa range from source of opportunity to geopolitical threat.

What is the role for journalists and their reporting in this web of complex and important environmental, social and economic issues associated with critical minerals? How can journalists help to ensure the industry has more environmentally, socially and developmentally positive and just impacts on the African continent? And what skills, narratives and analytical insights could help achieve that?

The Critical Minerals for the Energy Transition Reporting Workshop will feature expert-led discussions, interactive sessions and skills training on the all above issues and more.

China Dialogue Trust and the Wits Africa-China Reporting Project are inviting applicants to attend the workshop in Johannesburg on 22-24 November and to report on related issues in their home countries.

Successful applicants will also have the opportunity to attend the Africa-China Reporting Project’s Annual Journalists Forum on 21 November, and the Africa Investigative Journalism Conference (AIJC) in Johannesburg, South Africa.

To apply for the workshop and grant opportunity, please submit the following documents to ACRPapplications@gmail.com by 17:00 SAST on Friday 25 August 2023

  1. A proposal pitch for an original story on critical minerals in an African country, you will pursue if awarded the grant. The proposal document is not to exceed 3 pages, and needs to provide background, context and relevance of the report, a methodology outlining how reporting will be conducted (including any fieldwork), and the primary and secondary sources of the reporting plan. Please see How to apply for a grant for more proposal writing guidelines and information;
  2. The awarded reporting grant is of US$ 550. Any travel expenses involved in reporting must be included in the budget of the grant award;
  3. Kindly note the proposed report is required to be complete and ready for publishing by China Dialogue by end March 2024. Additional information on deadlines will be sent to successful applicants;
  4. Your most recent CV;
  5. Links to at least two previously published articles.
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