African female sports journalists gathered at the first ever Women's Sports Summit in Accra, Ghana. The theme "Take your Place" was chosen to encourage young, aspiring female journalists to take up opportunities and thrive in the male-dominated field of sports journalism.
The Africa Women's Sports Summit is a maiden event where African female sports journalists gathered for the first time. The one-day summit saw several up-and-coming female sports journalists and several experienced ones sharing their experiences in sports coverage and related areas.
The event is the creation of Juliet Bawuah, one of Ghana's most influential sports journalists. The event's website stated, "The programme is designed to bring leading female sports names and aspiring ones together, for a day's session on career and coming from behind to lead. This has become necessary as a deliberate measure to ensure that more women are shored up front in the ever-changing ecosystem of sports."
The event's objective is to champion greater female inclusion by:
- Creating a platform for change, training, mentoring and transfer of knowledge from accomplished women sports journalists to aspiring young ones.
- Championing greater female inclusion in the African sports ecosystem.
- Working towards creating a sustainable support system for African women to attain their career goals.
According to Africa News, more than 120 participants, particularly female sports journalists, from countries across the continent, including Ghana, the DRC, Namibia, Zambia, Togo, Uganda and South Africa, attended the event.
This year's theme, "Take Your Place", was meant to highlight conversations about empowering young female sports journalists and upcoming talent who will lead and impact on their communities.
As part of the programme, top female African sports journalists, including South Africa's Carol Tshabalala, Ghana's Nana Aba Anamoah, Lucy Quist and Eva Okyere, as well as Uganda's Usher Komugisha, presented their road maps to success, the challenges encountered and ways of addressing key issues such as harassment and professionalism.
The initiative will be an annual event that will help propel talented professional female sports journalists to more inclusive spaces on the continent and abroad. It also "seeks to present a platform for mentorship and greater female inclusion in the African sports ecosystem while working towards creating conditions that go a long way to help the African woman in sports attain career goals," as the website explains.
So far the event has received widespread endorsement, including that of the first female Secretary General of FIFA, Senegal's Fatma Samoura, and promises to grow exponentially in the coming years.