Knight International Journalism Fellowships

Sub-Saharan Africa: Build a Network of Climate-Change Reporters

Knight Fellow Joachim Buwembo is leading a project to train journalists in 20 countries across Africa to cover how their governments are dealing with the threat of climate change.

As a Knight International Development Fellow, Joachim Buwembo helped form a network of journalists across Africa who cover climate change. His participants now are part of the Baobab Coalition, a cross-border network of journalists reporting on climate change adaptation and sharing resources. The 20-nation initiative launched as part of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Africa Adaptation Program.

Buwembo, one of four experts who worked with journalists in the participating countries, trained 100 journalists in five countries. In addition, he selected and trained five journalists to become trainers themselves on climate-change coverage.

As a result of Buwembo’s work with journalists in Malawi, The Nation, a daily, started publishing a quarterly climate-change supplement and plans to make the supplement monthly. In Tanzania, a journalist trained by Buwembo wrote a series of stories about deforestation on Mt. Kilimanjaro. The government said it would send out troops to crack down on illegal logging.

Formerly a very successful Knight International Journalism Fellow in Tanzania, Joachim Buwembo worked in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to form a network of journalists across Africa who cover climate change.

Buwembo trained journalists in five countries, with three additional experts training in 15 other African nations. Buwembo knit together a cross-border network so that journalists covering climate change can share resources and collaborate on stories.

He also prepared five journalists – one in each of the countries where he is working directly – to serve as trainers on covering climate change. Three editors of Tanzanian newspapers agreed to dedicate regular coverage to climate-change issues.

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