By Enoch Sithole:
African media and communication researchers now have a digital platform where they can share their work, thanks to the establishment of the AfroMedia Network.
The platform was launched last week in Bujumbura, Burundi, at the 12th East African Communication Association (EACA).
Created in partnership with the Nordic countries’ Nord Media Network, the platform “will serve as a source for inspiration, information and interaction for media and communication researchers from, or with a research interest, on the African continent,” said Dr Terje Skjerdal, who has been championing the initiative.
Dr Skjerdal said the main feature of the site was that every media and communication researcher could create a profile on the site, and thereby introduce themselves to other scholars throughout the continent and beyond. The platform, he added, would also feature a listing of media and communication conferences, journals of interest to African researchers, information about funders of media and communication research as well as an overview of all universities and institutions offering journalism and communication studies in Africa.
This will be a platform where researchers and academics can connect with each other and get to know each other’s projects. “So, we are trying to get a full overview of the different programmes that exist across the continent. Besides connecting African media researchers with each other, it’s also to make the research on the continent more visible to the rest of the world,” said Dr Skjerdal.
The initiative is part of the Media Development Project East Africa, which among others, aims to introduce a PhD programme in media and communication at the Uganda Christian University and a Master’s programme at the University of Rwanda. The project is run in partnership with the University of KwaZulu Natal, in South Africa, and the NLA University College, in Norway, under the theme “preparing practitioners for a resilient media in East Africa”.
The AfroMedia Network platform is currently being managed from Norway in partnership with its sister platform, the Nord Media Network, but the task will soon be allocated to an African institution, said Dr Skjerdal.
Dr Skjerdal urged African researchers, both on the continent and the diaspora, and other people who have an interest in African media and communication to create their profiles on the platform, which can be found at https://afromedia.network/