Founder of Bloomberg media company and former New York City mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has announced the launch of the Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa, a three-year Pan-African program to build media capacity, convene international leaders and improve access to information in the continent.
The objective of the program is to advance transparency, accountability and governance on the continent. The initial focus of the $10 million commitment will be on Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.
Bloomberg said in a statement in Lagos that timely and accurate reporting of business and financial matters have been adjudged to play a critical role in advancing efficient markets, as well as being key drivers in supporting economic and social growth.
The organization stated that strengthening business and economic news coverage, expanding training programs for journalists and providing greater access to reliable data about Africa are frequently cited as important enablers to the continent’s continued development.
The Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa will provide cross disciplinary education programs and mid-career fellowships to increase the number of highly trained business and financial journalists, convene Pan-African forums to examine worldwide media best practices, and support research to stimulate media innovations.
“Reliable data and financial analysis bring transparency to markets and promote sound economic development and they can help keep Africa growing and creating opportunity,” Bloomberg said.
He added that the media initiative will foster collaboration, support professional growth and nurture the leaders who are contributing to the continent’s very bright future.
According to the statement, Bloomberg will partner eminent faculty from the University of Lagos Department of Mass Communications and the Pan African University in Nigeria; the University of Nairobi School of Journalism and Mass Communications and Strathmore Business School in Kenya; Rhodes University School of Journalism and Media Studies and the University of Pretoria Gordon Institute of Business Science in South Africa. They will develop and deliver educational programs focused on business, economics, public policy, finance and journalism to enhance the skills and knowledge of media professionals.
“The Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa is not only topical, timely, relevant and useful, but it is also contemporary both in structural and conceptual pluralism,” said Dr. Ralph A. Akinfeleye, professor of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Lagos.
According to Akinfeleye, by providing rigorous training from best-in-class faculty, media professionals and other stakeholders from the South, East and West African countries, the initiative will positively impact transparency, accountability, good governance and sustainable economic growth on the continent.
Chief Executive Officer of the Nation Media Group in Kenya Linus Gitahi said, “More and well-trained journalists serve the public interest by enabling the media to provide fuller coverage of key development issues. We applaud Bloomberg for making this welcome investment in the education and training of African journalists.”