Nation Publications Limited Online Sub-editor Sellina Nkowani has been elected as the Southern Africa regional coordinator for the just launched Pan African Media AllIance for Climate change ( PAMACC).
The election was held in Nairobi, Kenya where about 41 journalists who report on climate change from across Africa have converged for a capacity building workshop.
Nkowani’s was elected after representatives from Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia unanimously voted for her to be the regional coordinator.
One of the core responsibilities as a regional coordinator will be to champion formation of national bodies in all Southern African countries and to promote media coverage and reporting of climate change issues affecting the region.
In her acceptance speech, Nkowani pledged to work together with journalists in the region and particularly encourage more women participation in climate change reporting.
“It is an undisputed fact that women and children are the most hit by effects of climate change. It is only right and proper that more women tell stories about fellow women. Apart from that, it is high time that African journalists start to telling stories of climate change from the African perspective and be to share experiences and information with journalists from other countries,” she said.
The continental body will be headed by one of Kenya’s prominent journalists Isaiah Esipisu.
The PanAfrican Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) a continental coalition of civil society organisations and the organiser of the workshop, aims at unifying isolated civil society efforts on climate change advocacy and cordination in Africa so as to ensure that pro- poor and people- centered response measures are put into consideration as governments in Africa seek to mainstream climate change into national development strategies.
Currently the alliance has a membership of 300 non- governmental organizations, foundations, trusts, community based organisations, national and regional networks from 45 countries in Africa.
PACJA programs Officer, Phillip Odongo challenged African journalists to stop reporting issues of climate change based on political agendas and propaganda.
“Journalists are not reporting on the actual challenges facing the common man due to climate change effects,” he said.
The climax of the event was a gala night on Wednesday where journalists will be awarded for their stories about climate change. Grace Nyenyezi of Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) is one the journalists who has been nominated for the awards for her special report titled Deforestation compromising school feeding programme in Chiradzulu.