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Sierra Leone News : Africa Media Initiative (AMI) Ends World Bank Urbanization Workshop
Jun 9, 2017, 17:12
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Africa Media Initiative (AMI) in collaboration with the World Bank Group (as funding partners) organized a four days interactive training workshop for media practioners in Africa on issues relating to urbanization in the continent, and the role of journalist in addressing those issues.


The workshop attracted seventy four (74) journalists from both print and electronic from forty two (42) African states who converged at the Peacock Hotel in the city of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, from the 30th May to 2nd June 2017.


Data Analyst, Mr. Muchiri during explaining the importance of data in journalism


Mr. Eric Chinje (CEO of AMI) in his opening and welcome remarks categorically stated that Africans are still slaves in the global economy since independence, simply because, Africans are not involved in the transportation and sale of their commodities in the world market. He was of the opinion that Africa will not change fundamentally without the involvement of the media, and that if Africa should develop the media should play a key role to as raising the game. While he was at the same time optimistic that positive result would be achieved if the media becomes more relevant to issues affecting the continent are those that relate to urbanization.


He was of the view that life would be impacted if the issue of urbanization is properly taken care of.  “Our primary challenge as journalists therefore is to get the continent developed and the end goal is not only to hold government to account but make sure that the money that is provided to develop the country is properly used for the purpose and enforce accountability”. The CEO of AMI observed that no society changes without a capable media, but that notwithstanding, he lamented over the poor reportage on development issues in Africa which he said was way below an average of 10%.


CEO of AMI, Eric Chinje (center) and World Bank Specialist, Kofi (right), during the video conference


Urbanization is the concentration and building of cities on the one hand, and the concentration of people in the cities on the other, as a result when cities grow they have a negative impact on the environment if remain unchecked. However, it was observed that African cities are deemed to be doing much better in terms of pollution due to the emission of gases in the atmosphere, while at the same time government invest very little in terms of waste disposal.


A wide range of issues pertaining to urbanization were discussed including corruption which was identified as a deterrent to development, lack of transparency and accountability in the cities administration. It was established that when government and technical arm of the state work collaboratively, things would definitely improve.


Longest serving editorial specialist in East Africa Mr Wangethi (right) together with Mass Communications lecturer at the University of Kenya (left) delebrating on the theme of the workshop

In many African countries the drainage channels cannot carry the volume of water when it rains which eventually leads to flooding, the slum communities also from form part of the discussion; and the traffic congestion in most African cities according to the CEO of AMI was nothing to write home about which has a negative impact on the Gross Domestic Product GDP of most if not all African countries.


Longest serving editorial specialist in East Africa Mr. Wangethi delivering his lectures on The Process of Writing Articles


Cross section of participants at during a video conference at the World Bank Office in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

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