AAS provides funding to build Africa’s science journalism capacity

Science journalism project to be implemented with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Nairobi, Kenya, 1 September–The African Academy of Sciences today launches a project to provide funding for building the capacity of science journalists and improving the coverage of science on the continent over the next two years.

The launch is at the Highway Africa conference, the largest annual gathering of African journalists, which ends today in Grahamstown, South Africa.

The Africa Science Desk, which is being launched in partnership with the African Federation of Science Journalists and the South African Science Journalists Association with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will fund journalists to research and publish stories in the six strategic focus  areas of the AAS: health and wellbeing, climate change, food security and nutritional wellbeing, water and sanitation, sustainable energy and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). It will also support data journalism and be implemented through the AAS and the NEPAD Agency’s Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA), an agenda setting, funding and programme management platform.

The programme will initially focus on journalists in Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa, and will be extended to other countries after the first phase in 2018. Journalists will be invited to submit pitches, which will be considered on an ongoing basis for funding through mid-2019.

Early-career African journalists will be paired with senior science journalists internationally and continentally who will provide mentorship to contribute to the quality of science reporting in Africa.

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