Dakar — A week-long sports journalists training programme opened at the Senegalese capital Dakar over the weekend with the participation of sports writers from Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Liberia, Sao Tome, The Gambia and hosts Senegal.
The training, which is sponsored by the world footballÂ's governing body (FIFA), is meant to provide mid-career training to more than 300 reporters and photographers across the continent. The programme is part of FIFA's "Win in Africa with Africa" development programme, which was launched shortly after South Africa were named as hosts of the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals.
The Dakar course, which came on the heels of similar courses held in June 2009, is directed by the AFP Foundation, the international training arm of Agence France-Presse and co-financed by the European Union. Similar sessions will simultaneously take place in Cairo, Johannesburg, Libreville, Maputo, Nairobi and Rabat with a total of 137 reporters and 15 photographers from over 40 African countries benefiting.
Guy Jackson, one of the trainers at the Dakar session, said the training will help the participants to improve their story-telling techniques. He added that such training will better equip African journalists to do justice to the first-ever World Cup tournament taking place on African soil next summer.
Coumba NÂ'doffene Fall, the vice president of the Senegalese Football Federation, who presided over the opening ceremony on Saturday, welcomed the participations and urged them to make good use of the training. Fall expressed hopes that the Dakar training course will not only enhance the participantsÂ' professional skills but also create lasting friendships for the good of the game. The Senegalese football administrator hailed FIFA and its partner AFP, for coming up with such an initiative for African sports journalists, adding that the sports writers are very crucial in the development of football on the continent.