ANIC is looking for ideas that will transform the way that African media work. This means that your idea should offer significant and tangible improvements to existing tools or techniques, or should propose new ways for African journalists to gather news, tell stories, engage with audiences, or sustain media organisations.
Ideas that have the potential to be replicated or that could scale continentally will have an advantage.
To establish a team of data-driven investigative journalists to track toxic and fake medicines being dumped and sold in African countries, and establish a platform for crowd-sourcing and mapping the results.
The first major investigation the data journalists will work on is allegations that European companies are dumping toxic malaria medicine in Africa. To our knowledge no African media organisation is looking into this issue, especially at a pan African level. However, a team of journalists from the European Investigative Journalism Fund has done some background work into the problem in Europe and we will be looking to collaborate with them to produce a global story.
AHJA is an association of health journalists dedicated to promoting and providing quality media coverage to improve the lives of people across Africa. No single media house in Africa has the means to carry out an investigation of this scale. But AHJA can use its pan-African network and the new digital platform to dig up the facts and produce this major global story which all media in Africa will be able to use. The process will entail imparting of investigative skills and tools to journalists in African newsrooms.
4. How and why will your solution work? [100 words]
Africa carries the greatest burden of malaria in the world, accounting for 91 percent of all deaths caused by the disease. According to WHO, Malaria has been estimated to cost Africa more than US$ 12 billion every year in lost GDP. One of the greatest challenges facing the continent in the fight against malaria is drug resistance which has forced many countries to change their treatment policies and use drugs which are more expensive. This problem will be compounded further if allegations of dumping of toxic malaria drugs in Africa are proved to be true. By exposing the problem, African governments will be compelled to take action thereby ensuring that the fight against malaria is not compromised and lives are not endangered. The digital platform will continue to pursue other health challenges in Africa.
The African Health Journalists Association will devote a pan-African team of journalists in different countries to work on the investigation and the digital platform. Because it’s a multi-media project that will produce stories for radio, TV, print and digital media, the team will be drawn from various media platforms. The aim is to create a framework for producing content on major health issues such as the malaria investigation.
The first step is to establish a working relationship with the team from the European Investigative Journalism Fund who are really keen tow work with an African partner. We also have great contacts of talented journalists and media houses who would be ready to work on the project. In addition, AHJA is led by a team of highly experienced journalists from different countries who will provide leadership on the malaria investigation.
AHJA will assist its members in making follow ups and reactions to the story once the investigation is completed and the story is published. Collaboration with the EU Investigative Journalism Fund will also help AHJA build donor relations in Europe for future health stories. Finally, the skills learnt in carrying out the malaria investigations will be transferred and used in other spheres of development reporting.