Africa-based media practioners attend two-day pilot workshop on peace & security
‘I am excited about this initiative and I think every journalist interested in being a source of peacebuilding and conflict resolution should undergo the training, from community journalists to international ones’ was a reflection by Nonhlanhla Ngwenya from the Graca Machel-Women in Media Network Zimbabwe.
Nonhlanhla attended a two-day training workshop that was jointly organized by UNOAU, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security (AUC PAPS) in Harare, Zimbabwe.
The two-day training was held from 9-10 November 2022 and brought together African media practitioners including bloggers, broadcasters, community radio presenters and other media executives from across Arica. Overall, the module contains about 12 sections covering the , media laws or frameworks, peacebuilding/conflict-sensitive reporting, media and climate change, governance, etc.
According to another participant from Ethiopia, Tsehay Aklilu, the ‘modules we have encountered with are very interesting, applicable for the journalists on ground. Issues like good governance, conflict reporting, dealing with hate speeches and media laws and journalist safety, among others are pertinent to journalists in Africa. The modules incorporated practical tools that can help trainers to deliver useful guides. The issues related with gender is very well captured in the modules which I can't leave out appreciating.’ She further added that she will share learning obtained from the workshop with a team of colleagues she is currently working with at the Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation towards the establishment of a national media excellence center in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Participants welcomed the joint AUC PAPS - UNESCO - UNOAU efforts that led to the conceptualization of the training workshops and committed to providing necessary support in the future. In addition to providing technical inputs to the modules, they further advocated for making the training module available in localized languages in the future. AUC PAPS, UNESCO and UNOAU have already conceptualized translating the final module into official African Union and UN languages but will take into consideration linguistic considerations forwarded by the participants.
Some other expected outcomes of this initiative include the creation of national chapters across Africa; and the launch of a network of media practitioners who will report on implementation of the UN-AU Joint Framework as well as wider peace and conflict issues.