Media Fellowship Programme – Uganda
Our Fellowship programme has been running in Uganda since October 2012. In the first round, B4FA welcomed 20 Ugandan media professionals from print, radio and TV into the Fellowship. Many are based in Kampala, but some of our Fellows hail from the regions, from the south west to the east and the north west. What brought them together, other than their profession and communications expertise, was a shared passion for agriculture and how science and technology was able to help farmers in the country.
The Fellowship programme kicked off with a four day long residential training and dialogue workshop, held at the Speke Resort and Conference Centre, Munyonyo, Kampala from 31 October to 3 November 2012. Fellows were able to interact with scientific, regulatory and journalism experts from Uganda, Kenya, Sudan, the UK and US over the four day period, and made two field trips to the Kawanda Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) and the National Crop Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI), Namulonge – two of Uganda’s premier research stations for agriculture. Case studies of biosciences work being carried out in Uganda were reported by senior representatives from the Plant Genetic Resources Centre in Entebbe, the Kachwekano Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute (KAZARDI), KARI, Agro-Genetic Technologies Ltd, the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA), and the Ugandan Coffee Research Centre (COREC).
Since then, B4FA fellows in the country have continued to write and publish pieces on key scientific work and regulatory developments in Uganda and internationally, and have made visits to AGT’s private tissue culture laboratory, to the COREC campus, to the National Semi-Arid Resources Research Institute (NaSARRI) at Serere, to KAZARDI, KARI and Namulonge and many of the other research institutes in the country! Three B4FA fellows were also winners of the 2013 Media Biotech Awards (MBAs), recognizing their excellence in science and agricultural reporting and communication. As a result of feedback, B4FA has been delighted to extend the fellowships from the original 6 month timescale to a full 18 months, so we can expect even more reporting and engagement to come.
In April 2013, B4FA begins a second round of Media Fellowships in Uganda with a training and dialogue workshop to be held in Kampala. We look forward to welcoming a further 20 media professionals into our family of Fellows!