Centre for Education and Development (CFED) Malawi in November 2021 organized a series of media trainings for African journalists on reporting Universal Periodic review (UPR). The trainings were funded by Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS)-Geneva.
UPR is a process that reviews countries that are member states of the human rights council on how they are protecting and promoting human rights. All these countries undergo a review once every five years. The government submits its report explaining how it has conducted itself in protecting and promoting human rights. The stakeholders who include CSOs also submit an independent report. The two reports are reviewed by an independent body and recommendations on what the government should do are made.
The trainings attracted 93 journalists from Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Each country was trained separately. Kenyan journalists were trained on 4 November at 2pm and the other two groups on 5 November 2021, at 9am and 11am respectively. In Kenya, CFED partnered a newly established organization called MONITA run by Dr Edwin Tallam, Dr Gloria Ooko and Patrick Langat to mobilize the participants.
Nicoletta Zappile from UPR-Info was the trainer. In attendance was Sarah Ultes and Dr. Olaf from KAS-Geneva Office. A total of 33 journalists from Kenya, 30 from Zambia and 30 from Zimbabwe were trained respectively.
The first African media training on reporting UPR was held in 2020 in Malawi and over 40 journalists were trained. In an interview, director of CFED, Albert Sharra, who is championing the training in Africa said he was happy that over 100 African journalists know UPR. Read a story from a Zambian trainee here.
“KAS Geneva first introduced me to UPR in 2020 and I was shocked to believe that in the 10 years I had spent in the newsroom, I had not written a UPR story, not even know it. This is why I asked KAS-Geneva to fund our organization, CFED-Malawi, to train Malawian journalists. I could not stop there but take the training to Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The plan is to take the training to more African countries,” said Sharra.