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AWiM/African Union Projects

Overview of our AWiM/AU relationship

African Women in Media and the African Union have worked together on a range of projects since 2019. Below is an overview of each of our joint activities towards the empowerment of women in media.

Program Areas

Number of entries received

Number of selected participants/ Number of finalists

Photojournalism Awards

187

13

Photojournalism Training

121

93

Labour Migration  Awards

78

21

Labour Migration Training

134

100

AWiM19

255 Attendees

5 Winners

AWiM20

177 attendees and 1.2k views online

5 Winners

  • Pitch zone awards:
    • Overview

The Pitch Zone awards are a way for journalists to pitch for stories and get funding. The awards allow journalists to send in written pitches and defend those stories during a live pitch event in front of the judges for a chance at getting funding to develop and produce these stories in the category of their submission.

AWiM19 Conference and Pitch Zone Awards

Visibility was our theme for AWiM19, celebrating the expertise of women in media on crucial industry issues from women’s rights to technology and innovation. Two hundred and fifty-five delegates came from over 15 countries and 50 organisations to attend AWiM’s third conference. The conference kicked off with the posthumous award in memory of Hodan Nanalyeh, the late Somali-Canadian journalist who lost her life in the Al-Shabab attack. She was honoured for her courage and passion for changing narratives. She is credited with producing stories that portray the human side of Somalia via her Integration TV channel on Youtube. This award was received by Mr Mukhtar Ogle from the Executive Office of the Presidency, Kenya.

Click here to check out the sessions

Click here for videos and pictures

Check out these highlights put together by delegates and media partners

Thanks to the generous support of the African Union and its partners GIZ and the International Organisation for Migration, the second Pitch Zone Awards celebrated five winners. The categories mirrored AGENDA 2063, namely: Women and free trade, Free trade sustainability, Free trade migration, Silencing the guns and Free movement of people in Africa.

Each winner received $2,000 to produce the projects they had pitched to the judging panel

Check out the awards ceremony!

Read more about the winners and their projects

AWiM20 Conference and Pitch Zone Awards

Reimagining Futures: Women in Media, Peace and Technologies was the theme for our 2020 conference. Due to the pandemic, AWiM2020 was held virtually with a mix of pre-recorded presentations and a live conference and awards.

Check out the event website where you can find out all about the conference and watch the recorded sessions.

With the generous support of the African Union and the European Union Office to the African Union, five awards categories were presented. Check out the winners and their stories here

PHOTOJOURNALISM PROJECT

Overview of project

This project aimed to build the capacity of photojournalists in Africa, and was supported by the African Union and GIZ. It sought to find motifs that show a modern, self-confident, positive-inspiring and artistic view of Africa’s future and the associated themes of youth, innovation, progress, and development.

Activities under the project included:

Agenda 2063 Women’s Photojournalism Award: which recognised and celebrated outstanding female journalists whose submission of African images was defined by categories defined by the Goals and Aspirations of Agenda 2063. The competition received over 200 entries across the competition criteria.

Agenda 2063 Photojournalism Training: Online learning modules on photojournalism courses such as storytelling, documentary production and legal and ethical photojournalism were available for free to 100 women journalists. The call for entries received over 150 applications, and after a thorough review, 95 were selected to take the photojournalism courses.

Check out the courses here

Podcasts: A podcast series for citizenry and media engagement was developed.

Research regarding lived experiences of photojournalists documenting Mediation / Conflict resolution, peacekeeping and peacebuilding initiatives in Africa championed in line with Aspiration 4 of Agenda 2063 and the Flagship Project of Silencing the Guns is ongoing. Research report (summary and downloadable PDF of the full report) In production. Read more

LABOUR MIGRATION PROJECT AND AWARDS

Overview of project

This project aimed to establish a network of media professionals covering labour and migration in Africa. To achieve this, the project developed a media award, an online training and resource hub and a research project into the lived experiences of African women journalists covering Labour Migration in Africa. This project was done in partnership with the African Union, ILO, IOM as part of the JLMP initiative. A newsletter series was also developed as a part of the community engagement strategy. The objective was to highlight existing and missing narratives in media coverage of labour migration stories in Africa. It highlighted success stories of how Africa is managing migration, not forgetting the challenges.

Activities for this project included:

A four-part newsletter series

The newsletter for this project was presented in a four-part series and their summaries and links to the downloadable pdf versions can be found below.

What it takes to report effectively on labour migration in Africa: Africa has a long history of migratory movements. The movements, both voluntary and forced, have shaped intercontinental relations, economic cultures and cultural dynamics. In this issue, we look at; Existing labour migration policies and whether they ensure safe migration within Africa. What it takes to report effectively on labour migration in Africa. Find the link to the downloadable pdf here

 

Migrant workers and the pandemic: Migrant workers have been significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Disruptions in hospitality and tourism, agriculture and informal sectors have left migrant workers without an income, with a July 2020 report by the African Development Bank stating that up to 25 million Africans lost their jobs. Find the link to the downloadable pdf here

Has media failed labour migrants? The way society sees and treats labour migrants is shaped by many forces, including journalism. The media people consume, whether it is traditional media or digital media in the form of social media, can reinforce or challenge dominant views on labour migration. While representing stories on labour migration, journalists report from their own perspectives and judgments towards migrants. Acknowledging this bias is the first step in correcting negative portrayals that feed stereotypes of labour migrants. Find the link to the downloadable pdf here

Automation and the future of work: Labour migration in Africa is closely connected to industrialisation. As more tasks and economical activities are automated, replacing humans with robots and artificial intelligence, labour migrants will face various vulnerabilities. Moreover, increased competition in the countries’ labour markets is likely to affect perceptions towards migrants. Find the link to the downloadable pdf here

Research on the lived experiences of journalists covering Labour Migration in Africa

Labour migration journalism is a unique aspect of the journalism profession that involves gathering and presentation of information and data pertaining to migration. Over the years, more emphasis has been placed on the migrant stories, but not much has been said about the stories, and the lived experiences and perceptions of the editors, journalists, and other media workers who have been fully engaged in reporting labour migration events. This study sought to shed light on the regular realities of what it is to be a labour migration journalist in Africa.

The study incorporated a mix of an online survey, a focus group discussion, and three virtual in-depth interviews. Respondents from countries in the Northern, Southern, Eastern, Western, and Central regions of Africa participated in the survey mix. The respondents were a combination of journalists, editors, and other media professionals working with a variety of media outlets from countries such as Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Rwanda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Uganda, and Egypt.

Findings show that 73% of respondents agreed that high unemployment rates are a major cause of labour migration in Africa. Followed by this is the search for better pay, which a 23% consensus of respondents also agreed upon. About 1.9% of respondents blame the rampant nature of labour migration in Africa on cultural hegemony. When speaking on the representation of Africa in terms of labour migration, indications are that 73% believed that Africa had not been portrayed well. Contrary to this stance is the opinions of 17% of respondents who felt that Africa is well portrayed.

Journalists also shared the challenges of having limited access to data and funding, little remuneration, discrimination, unreliable sources, and the non-receptiveness of their editors.

The Research can be found here

The Labour Migration Reporting online Training Online Programme was self-paced with live webinar sessions with the consultants every week. The call for entries received 134 entries, and 100 journalists were selected for the one-month training. The five courses that were developed were as follows:

  • Reporting on labour migration policy and impact
  • Understanding human and labour rights of migrant workers.
  • Labour migration 101 for journalists
  • Covering migration during health pandemics (focused on how to identify stories)
  • Ethics and coverage of labour migration, including using the right vocabulary.

Check out the courses here:

The Labour Migration Media Award was a media award to celebrate African Journalists reporting on labour migration in Africa. The call for the entries received a total of 78 entries under the following categories:

  • Migrants’ Rights.
  • Remittance and Diaspora Contributions to Development.
  • Governance of Labour Migration.
  • Gender-based Migration.
  • Economic Impact of Migration.
  • Migration and Health.
  • Intra-African Migration.
  • Fair recruitment, forced labour and human trafficking of migrant workers.

Watch the awards here

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DR. YEMISI AKINBOBOLA

C.E.O & Co-founder, AWiM

Dr Yemisi Akinbobola is an award-winning journalist, academic, consultant and co-founder of African Women in Media (AWiM). AWiM’s vision is that one-day African women will have equal access to representation in media. Joint winner of the CNN African Journalist Award 2016 (Sports Reporting), Yemisi ran her news website IQ4News between 2010-14.
Yemisi holds a PhD in Media and Cultural Studies from Birmingham City University, where she is a Senior Lecturer. She has published scholarly research on women’s rights, African feminism, and journalism and digital public spheres. She was Editorial Consultant for the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 commemorative book titled “She Stands for Peace: 20 Years, 20 Journeys”, and currently hosts the book’s podcast.
She speaks regularly on issues relating to gender and media. In 2021 she was recognized as one of 100 Most Influential African Women.