The Gordon Institute of Business Science serving as Secretariat of the Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa (BMIA) is delighted to announce the completion and graduation ceremony of the BMIA Financial Journalism Training Program, for classes 3 and 4 which took place on Friday 14th of July 2017 at the Kempinski Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya. Since 2015, more than 500 delegates in South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya have completed the financial journalism training. Keynote addresses were delivered by Professor Bitange Ndemo, Former PS Ministry of Information and Communication, Kenya, and Joseph Odindo, Group Editorial Director of the Standard Group.
The six-month certificate program funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, with additional support from the Ford Foundation, was announced in Johannesburg in 2014 by Michael R. Bloomberg to advance business journalism in Africa. The training program delivered across three countries by preeminent faculty of leading business and journalism schools offered African mid-career journalists and business, government and civil society professionals courses in data analysis, financial markets, economics, public policy and other relevant business and journalism topics to accelerate development of a globally competitive media and financial reporting industry to increase market transparency and economic growth.
“BMIA has been an important conduit to promote transparency and accountability on issues of complexity that are relevant to society. The journalists who have completed the program are generating insightful news reports which will continue to hold government and its agencies accountable to the citizens,” says Paul Nwulu, a program officer at the Ford Foundation’s office in Lagos.
The University of Nairobi’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and Strathmore Business School in Kenya; the University of Pretoria’s GIBS together with leading faculty from the Rhodes University’s School of Journalism and Media Studies in South Africa; the University of Lagos Department of Mass Communication and Broadcasting, and the Lagos Business School in Nigeria partnered across three countries to developed and deliver this unique multidisciplinary training program. In July 2017, the Program will graduate 308 delegates, from Classes 3 and Four. These graduates join the 260 alumni of the program who successfully completed the training since 2015.
Throughout the 19 contact days, delegates were exposed to experts and practitioners from government and major media and business companies with first-hand knowledge and experience in global markets and the media industry. Delegates received training over the course of the six-months on the Bloomberg Terminal.
“Over the last 4 years, BMIA program has supported the Kenya journalism community in building a network of business journalists that is now capable of harnessing its potential to transform business and financial reporting in the region,” says Christine Mwangi, Consortium Faculty, Strathmore Business School. “This training has undoubtedly provided journalists with the tools to cover business issues in engaging solution-focused ways. It has been an absolutely rewarding journey for the faculty involved.”
The interactive program aimed to enhance the skills and knowledge of media professionals and to advance not only their careers but to serve the public interest as a critical part of continental development and progress. “The BMIA FJT program was an eye opener. It prepared us for the future. The training approach was also hands-on meaning we gained skills that ordinarily we cannot get in a university setting. I feel more confident as a business journalist since I have the tools and skills to write evidence based stories”, says James Ratemo, Senior Communication, and Information Officer at Media Council Kenya and Class Three delegate.
Bloomberg is proud to have been instrumental in promoting business journalism in Africa by working with African journalists to enhance their level of understanding of critically important business and financial concepts and the role reliable, timely data can play to move markets and advance development, says Erana Stennett, Director, Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa. “We look forward to continuing to work with media leaders, journalists, government, and universities to enhance business and economic reporting on the continent.”