The global climate change crisis is real and affecting all regions around the world. In West Africa, the climate change crisis is having a heavy impact on lives and livelihoods in nearly every country. The effects of the crisis have included drought, food insecurity, and pastoralist movement in search of feed for livestock among other conditions that are partly or fully connected to conflicts, inequality and instability in the region.
Despite the alarming effects of the climate change crisis in the region, there has not been commensurate action to counter the development and mitigate its effects. There’s limited public awareness about the issue and its connection to many of the problems in the region. There has also been limited State action beyond political proclamations of commitment.
It’s therefore time to mobilise the public for climate action. The media in the region can be a powerful tool for this endeavour.
However, journalists and media in the region are themselves less aware and knowledgeable on the subject matter. In line with this, the MFWA is commencing a regional climate change journalism fellowship programme for young enterprising journalists in the region.
This initiative is intended to build and grow a pool of young West African journalists who would have the relevant knowledge and skills for producing quality and impactful reports on climate change. Ultimately, the work of these journalists would increase public access to climate change information, improve public awareness and instigate holistic action for tackling the climate crisis.
The first group of journalists for this programme will be in fellowship from October 2022 to March 2023. The fellowship will afford the selected journalists the opportunity to strengthen their capacity and to produce critical, fact-based, and in-depth reports on climate change-related issues.
The maiden edition of the Fellowship is being implemented with funding support from Deutsche Welle Akademie.
Details of Fellowship
The Fellowship will be both residential and non-residential. For the first three (3) months (October to December), fellows will work remotely from their home countries with oversight supervision from assigned mentors/editors. They will participate in virtual training workshops, seminars, and speaking engagements with high-profile personalities including climate change experts and be assigned field projects to produce stories.
The final three (3) months (January to March 2023) will be residential. Fellows outside Ghana will travel to the country to work directly with the MFWA’s public interest and accountability projects – The Fourth Estate and Fact-Check Ghana. Fellows will go through in-person training workshops, and also produce investigative pieces highlighting issues around climate change.
By the end of the six months, each fellow is expected to produce at least two significant stories on climate change. Fellows will also receive a certificate of participation.
Who Can Apply
The opportunity is open to journalists from the following countries: Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Niger, Togo, Benin, Guinea, and Mali.
Applicant must be:
- Between the ages of 25 to 35 years on or before the application deadline;
- Proficient in reading, writing, and speaking English or French. Francophone applicants must have a working knowledge of English.
- Available for full participation in the fellowship virtually as well as residentially in Accra, Ghana to attend training and assignments from October 2022, to March 2023;
- Willing to commit to a six-month fellowship programme, involving three months of virtual training and three months of residential training in Accra, Ghana.
- Training and mentorship opportunities
- Monthly stipend and data allowance
Selection Process and Criteria
The selection process is a merit-based open competition. After the deadline, all eligible applications will be reviewed. Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed after which final selection will be done. Females are encouraged to apply.
Criteria for Selection
- The ability to work cooperatively in diverse groups and to respect the opinions of others;
- Strong social and communication skills;
- An energetic, positive attitude; and
- A demonstrated knowledge of, interest in, or professional experience in climate-related matters
Application and Deadline:
Interested applicants must fill out the fellowship application form (Click here for the form). The application form requires an applicant to submit a statement of interest stating why they want to participate in the fellowship (maximum of 350 words), a CV including two referees, and a copy of any national identification. The deadline for the application is September 30, 2022.
Note: Only shortlisted applicants will be notified by email.