Time for climate action. The journey of 24 journalists reporting from the African frontline of the global climate crisis
COP27, the UN Climate Summit that took place 6th – 20th November at the Egyptian resort of Sharm El-Sheikh is over – and so is the journey of the 24 African journalists that took part in the Danida Fellowship Centre’s learning programmme “Reporting from the African frontline of the global climate crisis”. Their outputs exceeded expectations with more than 100 pieces of climate content in 30 prominent African media reaching 100.000s people.
Climate stories featured in African media are often sourced from international news platforms. Therefore, many climate stories in African media do not fully explore issues and challenges relevant to African audiences. Nor do the international stories make use of African research knowledge and locally available climate expertise – or place the local knowledge in a global context.
Paving the way for evidence-based climate stories
On this background, the learning programme “Reporting from the African frontline of the global climate crisis” aimed to pave the way for knowledge-based climate news and feature stories relevant to Africans.
The programme started in Denmark with exposure visits to sustainable, climate-friendly solutions and meetings with climate negotiators, media specialists, and representatives from the private sector and from civil society organizations. It moved on to Tanzania, where the journalists collaborated with climate change researchers and focused on science journalism, constructive journalism, and African-based climate campaigning. Finally, the group of journalists took part in the first week of COP27.
COP27 was Africa’s COP
Long before COP27 opened, it was dubbed Africa’s COP. This nickname not only referred to the African location of this year’s UN Climate summit but also reflected the fact that voices on the continent were calling for Africa to get something meaningful from COP27.
Despite Africa contributing only 4% of global gas emissions, many of the societies most challenged by the effects of climate change are in Africa. However, it was far from certain that COP27 would deliver for Africa and other developing regions of the world: Would an agreement on the controversial issue of loss and damage be one of the results of COP27? Would the richer and more carbon-intensive countries agree to the establishment of a global climate fund and increase the climate financing to the developing countries? And would the negotiation process and the results be reported back to the people of Africa in ways that meet the needs of the target audience?
During the learning programme, the 24 journalists did their utmost to report on Africa’s climate crisis and to unpack the most important topics for their audiences in a meaningful way. To guarantee an outlet for their outputs, a criterion to take part in the programme was that the journalist’s own media would get them accreditation to COP27. Another criterion was that the journalists should deliver a set of mandatory outputs making use of the journalistic tools provided by the programme, and building on their direct access to climate experts, negotiators, public authorities, the private sector, and NGOs in Denmark, Tanzania, and during COP27.
With more than 100 pieces of climate content in 30 prominent media from across the continent reaching 100.000s people, the 24 journalists’ outputs exceeded expectations. See them here
In addition, the journalists made 23 daily blogs featured on Danida Fellowship Centre’s Instagram throughout the programme, highlighting their main takeaways. Watch them below.
“Don’t look only at the world’s leaders´ promises, but also at the innovative, amazing solutions coming from our society”
“I came here to understand what goes on behind the negotiations around climate issues”
Grégoire Bazie and Oumar Ouedraogo:
“Climate change: a global issue with multiple facets. The roles of the women and agroforestry”
“Reflecting on Climate issues in Burkina Faso”
“The dangerous impacts of fossil fuels”
“Journalists are the gatekeepers of complex information to local people”
“We have to put Climate at the heart of African journalism”
“Climate Change is here, see this landscape”
“As a journalists, I want to influence policies, make my government focus on Climate issues”
“Networking with researchers? A golden opportunity”
“Reporting false information harms the public”
“Looking out for the nuances is key for constructive stories”
“I value the trust between journalists and researchers”
“Accra is battling with perennial flooding. Science and constructive journalism are eye-openers that I will use in my journalistic work in Ghana.”
“In Uganda, new technology on waste water treatment would save us a lot in health care costs.”
“Today we saw how Denmark makes money out of waste. Now look out for our story on the journey of waste in Africa!”
“Egypt has the resources, but stakeholders must come together to make sure that everyone is heard.”
Abdel Kader Mazou:
“I recognize the importance of waste and solar energy in everyday life because I come from a place, Niger, that needs it.”
“How could the Industry, Academia and the Government in Kenya work together, to make food security a reality?”
“Agriculture is sensitive and affected by the weather, and climate change. This is essential for my work in Egypt.”
“At COP27, we want to do good stories that can create an impact.”
Jamila Mohammed Abdullahi:
“Kenya is suffering from the climate crisis. At COP27, will our leaders speak out?”
Eyituoyo Samson Amuka-Pemu:
“Reporting is making people appreciate the essence of what is going on.”
The journalists came from Burkina Faso, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. They were nominated for the learning programme by the Danish embassies in their country of origin.Go back to all stories