Philanthropist and former New York City mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has announced a three-year, $10 million initiative to build media capacity and advance transparency, accountability, and good governance in Africa.
With an initial focus on Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa, the Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa will work to bolster the timely and accurate reporting of business and financial matters, expand training programs for journalists, and provide greater access to reliable data about economic activity on the continent. To that end, the initiative, in partnership with faculty from the University of Nairobi School of Journalism and Mass Communication and Strathmore Business School in Kenya; the University of Lagos's Department of Mass Communications and the Pan Atlantic University's Lagos Business School in Nigeria; and Rhodes University's School of Journalism and Media Studies and the Gordon Institute of Business Science at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, will provide cross-disciplinary programs designed to enhance the skills of business and financial journalists, offer scholarships to the next generation of media professionals, and provide graduate students with opportunities for experiential training.
In addition, Bloomberg will partner with the Ford Foundation and others to host an annual pan-African forum devoted to global media best practices and offer mid-career fellowships for journalists. In partnership with the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, ONE, and a number of multilateral institutions, including the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and the African Development Bank, the initiative also will explore the feasibility of launching a platform that provides accessible, comprehensive, accurate, and up-to-date economic data and information.
"Reliable data and financial analysis bring transparency to markets and promote sound economic development – and they can help keep Africa growing and creating opportunity," said Bloomberg. "The Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa will foster collaboration, support professional growth, and nurture the leaders who are contributing to the continent’s very bright future."