ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, July 10, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ ? This morning not only marked the first day of the activities of the 19th African Union (AU) Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, but also the beginning of a Capacity Building Training for African editors and journalists jointly organized by the Directorate of Information and Communication (DIC) of the African Union Commission (AUC) and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES). This training aims at giving journalists the necessary understanding and tools to effectively cover the summit, and thus better inform the African citizens of events within the AU as well as give Africa a voice internationally.

It is not the first time that the DIC joins forces with a partner to do capacity building of journalists. It is in the mandate of the department to ?serve the interests of the journalists? because it is through them that the AU can achieve its vision. In her opening remarks, Mrs. Habiba Mejri-Cheikh, Director of Information and Communication, underlined the need for journalists to understand that there is coverage to be done all year long and not only during summits and conferences. In order to do so, they need to know how to get relevant information from the AUC and also to tell the AUC what they need. Such training provides an excellent opportunity for experience sharing and adjustment of mutual expectations.

?Media are vehicles of information across the continent?, stated Ms Brenda Mofya, FES-AU Liaison officer. She said journalists are the ones to take information forward. Participants of this training are journalists coming from 12 different countries, representing the five regions of Africa. Topics to be tackled during the training are the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), and the theme of the summit itself, ?i.e. boosting intra African trade?. These sessions will occur on the 9th and 10th of July 2012, starting from the 11th the journalists will cover the summit rich of their learning of the previous days. Evaluation sessions will help assess their needs so that adjustments are made.


African Union Commission (AUC)


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