“Journalist training has given me a pan-African perspective”
Suleiman Rashid Omar is an independent news journalist based on the remote island of Pemba, Tanzania. He reports for various medias includingTV (ITV), radio (Radio One Tanzania) and newspaper (Nipashe Newspaper). He also owns an online TV channel called Mawio TV. In 2018, he – together with 17 other Tanzanian journalists – attended a journalist training on national reporting and awareness raising of ACDEG in Dar-es-Salaam.
“I saw that the ACDEG agenda started to mobilize more and more people, but the government seemed reluctant and uncomfortable. This was my entry point to look more into issues on democracy and governance addressed in the Charter” Omar explains.
Women in decision-making spaces
Sulaiman Rashid Omar reports the the journalist training has helped him qualify his journalism and added a pan-african dimension to his work on democracy on a national level. Especially issues of leadership and the exclusion of women in decision-making processes and public affairs has obtained his attention.
Women are not considered electable for leadership positions here in Pemba. But women are increasingly showing interest in ACDEG and I think we can expect more women to run for coming elections.
“Women are not considered electable for leadership positions here in Pemba. But women are increasingly showing interest in ACDEG and I think we can expect more women to run for coming elections. It is important for me to advocate for young women’s participation in politics” Omar says. In his journalistic reportages,Omar also sheds light on topics that are normally considered taboo such as gender-based violence and he actively works on including women perspectives on society. He invites women to participate in discussions and include them in his reportages, thus providing them with a space to voice their stories, political aspirations and amnitions for the continent.
New journalist network
The journalist training in Dar-es-Salaam has also led to several Pemba-based journalists forming a journalist network called The National Journalist Platform. The network is inspired by the focus of The Africa We Want Project on antidiscrimination of women and the fight for more women in decision-making spaces. The network also functions as a platform for experience sharing as well as cultivating a pan-african attitude towards democratic challenges on a national level. The journalists seek to push their agenda through in-depth journalism aiming at creating public awareness and leading to a change of people’s mentality – and, ultimately, to women’s active access to politics on all levels.