The theme of the 2017 edition of TJNA's annual Africa Media Training was ‘Harnessing Africa’s mineral wealth to finance sustainable development’. This program is sponsored by the Financial Transparency Coalition, the William and Flora Hewlett Fund and the Global Alliance for Tax Justice and is presented by TJNA as "a result of a gap in financial reporting in Africa as tax matters are often viewed as too complex and dynamic to comprehend. Taxation issues are often covered as negligible financial matters, not receiving the prominence that they ought to".
This year's edition was held at the University of Witwatersrand’s School of Governance in Johannesburg from 17-19 July. The participants consisted of 17 journalists form 11 different, mostly Anglophone, African countries and were selected for their experience in covering the extractive sector and familiarity with financial journalism.
The three-day training was provided by Finance Uncovered and Open Up (formerly Code4South Africa) as well as one of South Africa’s best investigative journalists, Khadija Sharif. After an introduction to the tax justice movement in Africa, key issues in journalism and the extractive sector in Africa today were covered. Professor Patrick Bond of the University of Witwatersrand educated them on domestic resource mobilisation in Africa and the achievement of the different development agenda. There was an opportunity to interact with James Henry, a US-based economist and investigative journalist, as well as Fulbright fellow Jeff Kelly Lowenstein. TJNA's Policy Lead on Tax and Extractives Kwesi Obeng and Executive Director Alvin Mosioma provided information on the perspective of the CSOs and regional efforts.
The effects of mismanagement of natural resources were shown though interactive sessions, showing the participants the need to enforce the laws that safeguard the interests of the people. This was achieved by showing them a film and going on a tour of Johannesburg, featuring a visit to the country's constitutional court.
The program of this training can be found here.