The Future of Journalism is in Africa

TORONTO, June 8, 2016 /CNW/ - You are invited to a very special afternoon event organized by the Canada-Africa Chamber of Business, the University of the Witwatersrand, the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship at Ryerson University, and Canada's leading media development organization Journalists for Human Rights (JHR): The official Canadian launch of the Future of Journalism Lab.

Meet top Canadian and African journalists as they upend traditional narratives about Africa and discuss opportunities for the future of journalism, entrepreneurship and tech innovation within the African media ecosystem.

When: Wednesday, June 29, 3:30 – 5pm

Where: Goodmans LLP, 333 Bay Street, Suite 3400, Toronto, ON

To attend, you must register with the Canada-Africa Chamber of Business. Register here!

Event Details:

The afternoon features a panel celebrating The Future of Journalism in Africa, the official launch of a spectacular new partnership between JHR, the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship, and the University of the Witwatersrand. 

For this panel, the Chamber is delighted to be welcoming Professor Barry Dwolatzy, the visionary mind behind the new Digital Innovation Zone at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, Sean Mullin, Executive Director of the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship , Rachel Pulfer, Executive Director of Journalists for Human Rights, Freddy Mata Matundu, country director for JHR/DRCongo and, participating by Skype, Liberian newspaper editor and media entrepreneur Rodney Sieh of FrontPageAfrica. You will also have the chance to meet top Canadian journalists on the Africa beat from the Globe and Mail, National Post, Toronto Star and Bloomberg, among others.

"There is an absolute need to change the narrative on Africa in the media from 'Oh, that's Africa' to 'Wow, this is Africa!'", says Bruce Shapiro, President of the Canada-Africa Chamber of Business. "Doing this is an enormously complex and, at times, dangerous process. The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business (formerly the Canada-Southern Africa Chamber of Business) with its new mandate wants to be a part of this important process and are honoured to be working with JHR to bring this about."

Across the world, the media is struggling to adapt to this new digital age. Yet African entrepreneurs have already figured out how to distribute news through SMS text message, generate maps of security emergencies as they break, and set up subscriber-pay systems through mobile phone networks.

"African media entrepreneurs have bootstrapped extraordinarily powerful newspapers from websites," says Rachel Pulfer, Executive Director of Journalists for Human Rights. "They've worked with SMS networks to track stories and deliver news through text message. And they are at the forefront of lease-financing through mobile phone networks. This project seeks to harness the energy of Africa's Silicon Savannah towards a powerful goal: sustaining high quality journalism. We are delighted to support it and encourage all those concerned about the future of media worldwide to come out and hear what African educators and journalists have to offer."

To attend, please register with the Canada-Africa Chamber of Business. Register here! The event is $50 for Chamber members and JHR affiliates, and $75 for non-Chamber-members. This price includes cocktails. To attend the cocktail party only, it is $20 for members and JHR affiliates and $30 for non-members.

Following the cocktails all guests are warmly invited to drinks on the patio at The Metropolitan, 20 Victoria Street (Kindly note that food and drinks for the patio networking are the responsibility of individuals).


The Future of Journalism Lab is an incubator and accelerator for media entrepreneurs, based in Africa. It brings together innovative media entrepreneurs from across the continent and around the world to solve the question plaguing media worldwide - how to better support their businesses financially - and produce quality journalism at the same time. The panel event celebrates the official Canadian launch of this project.

Distinguished guests include:

Professor Barry Dwolatzky of the Johannesburg Centre of Software Engineering (JCSE) at the University of the Witwatersrand. Professor Dwolatzy's vision is to build a Digital Innovation Zone within the emerging technology hub in the Tshimologong Precinct ( in Johannesburg. This project brings innovative designers, programmers, developers and engineers together across disciplines to share experiences and develop new businesses. The burgeoning brain hub has attracted both private and public interest and support from around the world.

Rodney D. Sieh, editor of FrontPage Africa, is one such entrepreneur. He will be joining the panel via Skype/video from Liberia to discuss how he developed the newspaper through reaching out to the American diaspora, generating sponsorship and advertising revenue in US dollars to sustain quality reporting back home.

Freddy Mata Matundu, country director for JHR in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, will also weigh in on strategies Congolese media entrepreneurs have deployed to launch media enterprises including a vocational journalism training school in Bukavu sustained through private financing.

Sean Mullin, Executive Director of the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship and Rachel Pulfer, Executive Director of Journalists for Human Rights will introduce the Future of Journalism Lab - a project to be hosted by the Witwatersrand Digital Innovation Zone.

Our thanks to CNW Group for sponsoring this announcement.

SOURCE Journalists for Human Rights (JHR)

For further information: Media Inquiries: Sarah Pollock, Development Manager, Journalists for Human Rights, Tel: 416-413-0240, E-mail:


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