Lilongwe — Journalist from English speaking African countries have been urged to invest more in climate change reporting to bridge the communication gap between experts and information users.
This was revealed during a three-day Media and Journalism Days in Africa (MJDA) virtual training, a project led by Africa 21.
Africa 21 Vice President, Jean-Luc Mootoosamy said Africa 21 was honoured to host the meeting after the successful first event which took place in 2019 in Geneva.
"For three days, we had experts bringing facts, knowledge, experience about climate change, environmental, geopolitical and economic aspects and impacts."
"Participants were able to share their work, speak about their realities and heard what happens in neighboring countries," she said.
Head of UN , Mohamed Atani said journalists are a powerful gate keeper helping experts reaching out to the whole world especially now that climate change has its toll on every nation.
He said that journalists should be the people to bring about change telling a story about what climate change is and its effects on humans.
"Journalists and Media have an extremely important role to play for climate change. Climate change has consequences on humanitarian situations. It is the biggest threat to humanity and the ecosystem. We all together can make a change and reverse the trend," Atani pointed out.
He said that journalists need to be aware of their mission and be able to track the emissions and find out how they are emitted and how they can be decreased.
"The training will help to shape minds, find solutions together to achieve sustainable development goals. We have a chance to reduce the emissions and we have to do it now and urgently," Atani added.
A participants from South Africa, Asmaa Botmi-Clarke said it was a well organized virtual event, very informative with diverse panel of experts and journalists.
"I thoroughly enjoyed the input of every journalist giving us a view of the effects of climate change in their region. It was a success for me because it left me well informed, but also still having loads of questions to find answers to," she said.
Clarke thanked the organizers and urged them to hold more of such training, so that journalists can keep tapping the knowledge and equip them on climate change issues and report with evidences.
The meeting focused on Climate change on the African continent and brought together 17 journalists from Ghana, South Africa, Malawi, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, just to mention a few.
The training was aimed at raising awareness among African media on the 2030 Agenda, international Geneva and environmental and climate issues so that these subjects are adequately followed in the participating media.
It had an objective to renewing the appeal of international Geneva to the English-speaking African media by establishing a connection between African journalists and organizations in international Geneva but also expand the network of African journalist specializing in sustainable development and climate change.