The Wits China-Africa Reporting Project ("the Project") completed its first training and skills workshop for African and Chinese journalists during the week of May 23 at Wits Journalism in Johannesburg. The workshop focused on current China-Africa industrialisation initiatives in Africa; industrialisation is a fundamental component of both China’s Africa Policy 2016 and the African Union’s Agenda 2063, and is a key aspect of China-Africa engagement currently.
African and Chinese journalists were invited to submit applications and reporting grant proposals based on the FOCAC 2015 Action Plan goals for industrialisation in Africa. The Project then selected ten African and Chinese journalists based on their proposals, and brought them to Johannesburg for a week of intensive training, skills development, discussion and several excursions. Following the conclusion of the workshop, the journalists were each awarded a reporting grant to pursue their China-Africa industrialisation features.
The following is a brief summary of the activities of the workshop along with a few images taken during the week. A list of the journalists who attended the workshop follows below.
The workshop commenced on the morning of Monday May 23 with a lecture and discussion led by Bob Wekesa, Postdoctoral Fellow at Wits Journalism, entitled Primer on China-Africa Media & Journalism Landscape. This was followed by a session led by Kevin Davie, consulting business editor at the Mail & Guardian and financial journalism lecturer at Wits Journalism: Economics, Finance and Industrialisation Theory & Practice. In the afternoon the group was provided with a guided tour of Wits University East and West campuses and Braamfontein area.
Tuesday May 24 started off with another session led by Bob Wekesa entitled Case Studies of China-Africa Industrialisation; Brief Overview of China-Africa Industrial Relations. The second session of the day was led by Nechama Brodie, Head of Training, Research & Information at Africa Check, on Fact-checking and critical analysis of evidence to use facts to find and write better stories. The afternoon session, Multimedia Dimensions of China-Africa Media & Reporting, was led by Wits Media Studies lecturer Cobus van Staden and (via web link) his co-host of the China Africa Project, Eric Olander. Cobus and Eric discussed practical guidelines of online China-Africa journalism, as well as their new China-Africa Q&A website.
The first session on Wednesday May 25 was another by Nechama Brodie on Fact-checking, focusing on African data and statistics. This was followed by a second session on Economics, Finance and Industrialisation Theory & Practice by Kevin Davie. In the afternoon the group visited Standard Bank in Rosebank, Johannesburg, with a guided tour of the large Dealing Room trading floor and a presentation on China-Africa macroeconomics and industrialisation by a Standard Bank economist.
On Thursday May 26 the workshop had two sessions by Wits Journalism lecturers: Janet Wilhelm, Industrialisation Case Studies and Selection of Feature Stories; and Ruth Becker, Feature Writing. In the afternoon the group visited Huawei's Johannesburg office and training centre, which included a presentation by Secretary Jia Peng of the Chinese Embassy in South Africa on Chinese industrialisation projects in South Africa.
On Friday May 27, the last day of the workshop, the morning contained another session by Janet Wilhelm on Online Data Sources, followed by a closing lecture and discussion led by Jabulani Sikhakhane, Deputy Editor of The Conversation, on the Role of the Public Sector in African Industrialisation. In the afternoon the group visited the office of eNCA in Johannesburg, and was given a guided tour of the newsroom and studio facilities. The group then met with eNCA head of news Anton Harber. In the evening the workshop closed with a formal dinner at Fong Mei Restaurant in Rivonia, Johannesburg.
The following African and Chinese journalists attended Industrialisation Workshop 2016 and will produce China-Africa industrialisation journalism features in the coming weeks and months: