Africa Day was an opportune moment for the Women in News’ Africa team to take stock of its achievements and strategic objectives across Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The team of directors, trainers, coaches and officers working in the continent has been busy offering leadership hubs and digital media courses to advisory projects, training on gender balance and managing sexual harassment, as well as coaching sessions.
WIN Africa Director, Jane Godia, outlined the organisation’s plans, which include the launch of a report on sexual harassment, which will be one of the biggest studies of its kind done on the harassment in the continent, as well as the development of press clubs and a fresh call-out for the Social Impact Reporting Initiative.
As a result of its work, WIN is empowering people and organisations in Africa to build a more resilient and inclusive news industry.
WAN-IFRA Director of Media Development and Head of WIN, Melanie Walker, acknowledged the difficult professional circumstances the team has been operating under in light of the pandemic. She applauded the progress reported by country co-ordinators, which included midwifing the passage of progressive legislation, setting up press freedom committees and growing WIN’s network of strategic partners.
“I look around this virtual room and I am wowed by the talent. I fundamentally believe that whatever WIN is as a community, movement and advocacy group has been made possible by the quality of its people,” said Melanie.
The WIN Africa team also highlighted good news stories from the women who have gone through the Leadership Accelerator, including job promotions, media awards and high-impact reporting.
Tamala Chirwa, Director of People and Operations for WIN, highlighted the organisation’s growing work and influence, calling for “all hands on deck” to beef up capacity to implement the projects that have been lined up.
“The first reference point is the talent pipeline within WIN. We know for sure we have a robust pool of talent and we would like to leverage on this to increase our bandwidth as we embark on new activities in line with our objectives,” said Tamala.
The session closed with a beautiful reminder from Zambia’s Coach Sandra Agyemang on why the WIN community does what it does: “My coaching experience with WIN spans more than 10 years and has been one of the most rewarding milestones in my life’s journey. Being an African woman, I find it very empowering to have been able to leave an indelible mark in the lives of the many women I have met through this journey. What’s even more fulfilling is the transformation I have seen in their lives, and the feedback I receive from former coachees, their superiors, peers and families. I will forever be thankful to WIN for giving me such a great opportunity. I have, by default, been given many daughters. Thank you, WIN.”