AMDISS trains 10 journalists on Extractive Industries

The Association for Media Development in South Sudan (AMDISS) is conducting a five-day training session for ten journalists on extractive industries.

The training is being facilitated by AMDISS’ Media Development Institute (MDI) with funding from Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA).

The session, which started yesterday, Monday, 17th July, 2017 was officially opened by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of MDI, Dr. Kenyi Spencer.

In his opening remark, Dr. Kenyi said journalists should be professionals. “Journalists need to be professionals and tell the truth”.

He added saying, “if you look at our newspapers today, and listen to our radio stations, there is a lot that needs to be done—a lot of work is needed to improve the quality of the work done by media houses.”

Dr. Kenyi said MDI is going to work on improving professionalism, but said this can only happen if journalists are “willing or ready to learn.”

The representative of the Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA), Mr. Riek James, said the training session was timely because South Sudanese journalists need to enrich themselves with knowledge in the field of extractive industry.

He said South Sudan is an oil-producing country and there is a lot that needs to be done by the media in reporting on the benefit of oil [for example as a resource].

“Media houses have not done enough in this field that is why NPA is funding this training so that journalists can acquire some knowledge in the field of extractive industry.”

Mr. Riek also said the media need to report on the impact of extraction of oil that is the activities that result from oil production on the local population who live oil-producing areas [or areas that share close proximity to the oil-producing areas].

The Centre Manager of AMDISS, Michael Duku, said the training will last five days (Monday 17th -Friday 21st July 2017). Mr. Duku who introduced the trainer, Dr. Musinguzi Denis, from Uganda Martyrs University (UMU) of Uganda, said Dr. Denis has facilitated similar training before.

Mr. Duku said Dr. Denis is not new to South Sudan, he had been to South Sudan before and is familiar with the media environment in the country.

Duku added that the ten journalists who are attending the training come from ten media houses in Juba. The process of selection was done through application, which was advertised in the Juba Monitor Newspaper last month. Ten journalists (seven males and three females) fulfilled the requirements and they were accepted.

Topics covered during the first say included: economic status of oil-rich countries, democracy, extractive economies and under this theme were a number of sub-topics covered, which included—recurrent civil wars, oil curse, South Sudan one of the biggest producers of oil and gas in Africa, oil the most important resource.

The trainer said, “if oil is well utilised, it would spur economic growth and development.” He also exposed the trainees on the reality of the new nation and the on-going civil conflict or war and its implications on the oil, gas and mineral sector.

Today the trainees will tackle a number of topics such as: key moments in the development of oil and gas in South Sudan, minerals both positive and negative, in the development of extractives in South Sudan.

By Nichola Dominic Mandil

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