Bloomberg expanding its financial journalism programme to Tanzania

24Jun 2019
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Bloomberg expanding its financial journalism programme to Tanzania

BLOOMBERG Media Initiative Africa (BMIA) has announced the expansion of the Financial Journalism Training (FJT) programme to Tanzania, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Senegal and Zambia.

The programme is meant to advance financial journalism and improve access to accurate, reliable data on the continent. It will be delivered in partnership with University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the university’s Business School.

BMIA said in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday that the training was launched in Ghana and Zambia earlier this year and follows the programme’s success in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.

It said more than 40 delegates will take part in the first intake of the upcoming training to be offered in Tanzania, adding: “This unique educational offering will support the development of financial journalism and contribute to Tanzanian and African economic growth.”

During the next six months, the delegates will spend 19 days in interactive sessions led by prominent members of faculty at local universities and will cover topics to strengthen their skills in and understanding of data analysis, capital markets, accounting, public policy, economics and the transforming media landscape. 

Financial journalism sessions will be taught by Bloomberg News reporters, while delegates will also receive a free six-month subscription to the Bloomberg Terminal, offering access to global data, news and analysis.

UDSM Vice Chancellor Prof William Anangisye commented on the announcement, saying: “We are pleased that the BMIA Financial Journalism Training Programme has been launched in Tanzania.”

“Well-trained financial journalists can make significant contributions as conduits of information and, as the country’s economy continues to evolve, it will be crucial to increase the number of skilled media professionals and journalists in Tanzania.”

Four intakes of the interactive, hands-on training programme have been delivered in each Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa over the past three years, resulting in 568 graduates from 13 countries to date.

Close to 70 per cent of delegates trained were journalists and representatives of the media. The first intakes in Ghana and Zambia are currently under way and have enrolled 91 delegates.

Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg L.P. and Bloomberg Philanthropies, said: “Reliable, accessible financial reporting is critical to driving sustainable economic growth and good governance. The expansion of the Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa to five new countries will significantly further our mission to advance financial journalism and transparency on the continent.”

Andreas Dracopoulos, Co-President of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, meanwhile noted: “We are very excited to see the start of this new phase of the Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa Financial Journalism Training programme.”

“The Stavros Niarchos Foundation is proud to partner with Bloomberg in helping equip a global talent pool of journalists with the sort of specialist expertise that can propel them towards attaining a high level of professional excellence. This is the basis of a robust, ethical, independent press, which now seems to be more critical than ever,” he added.

The programme is a core component of the BMIA, which is meant to contribute to the advancement of business and financial reporting in Africa. This is in recognition of the decisive role the media play in promoting transparency, accountability and good governance. 

The BMIA is a project of Bloomberg Philanthropies, and the FJT programme in Tanzania, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Senegal, and Zambia will also receive support from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

Since its launch in 2014, BMIA has reached more than 1,000 stakeholders in Africa and sponsored four annual conferences for media owners and senior leaders in business, government and civil society.

The most recent took place in Livingstone, Zambia, in November 2018 – with 320 leaders representing 25 countries in attendance.

The programme has also offered a Fellowship for editors and senior journalists, which has been completed by 45 Fellows.

This is aside from a fund to promote community media and citizen journalism – the Community Media Fund – from which ten organisations in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa have received grants. The Ford Foundation has been a leading supporter of these programmes.