From Sun Mar 12 12:28:05 2000
Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2000 21:24:30 -0600 (CST)
From: MichaelP <>
Subject: [EMMAS] African Women's Media Center (fwd)
Article: 90944
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

African Women's Media Center

From Gifti Nadi, International Women's Media Foundation, [12 March 2000]

Dear GKD Members,

I'd like to tell you about The African Women's Media Center (AWMC), a project of the International Women's Media Foundation, which works to strengthen the role of women in the news media worldwide. The AWMC, based in Dakar, Senegal, provides African women journalists the training, resources and tools they need to compete equally with their male colleagues. Since its founding in 1997, the AWMC has worked with women's media networks, media associations, NGOs, media companies and individuals to offer a wide range of interactive programs for women journalists throughout Africa.

AWMC participants at various events expressed an interest in learning and using the Internet in their work and professional development. Matching this interest with the ever-growing online population, the AWMC began to hold an annual internet cyber-conference to examine the lack of African women in media leadership roles.

The cyber-conference quickly became a project worth incorporating in the AWMC's long-term agenda. Despite the known challenges such as lack of access to computers and often faulty internet connections across the African continent, the annual cyber-conference has provided the AWMC with a new and creative forum for African women journalists to learn from each other. With increasingly available ICTs in Africa and stronger internet connections in the future, more women will be able to join in this important dialogue by using the Internet.

This event would not have been possible without the use of the information and communication technologies. The cyber-conference was available 24 hours a day to anyone with Internet access. Participants linked to the on-line conference by simply clicking on the AWMC's web page, ( and many chose to do so from different host-sites organized and tested in advance by the AWMC and partner organizations.

During each of the first three days, the AWMC posted a series of presentation on specific topics, highlighting the expertise of high-level women or alternative media projects on the continent. User friendly instructions on how to access presentations and give feedback were posted on each screen.

The cyber-conference encouraged participants to respond to the Talk Back section, where they took part in virtual conversations with their colleagues about that day's topic, and asked specific questions to the presenters. On the last day, the highlighted link on the cyber-conference contents page took host site participants directly to a four-hour Live Chat.

The cyber-conference provided a forum for a much-needed dialogue over the internet on the role women journalists can play in redefining news coverage in Africa. Discussions on alternative media outlets highlighted innovative, large-scale media endeavors. The AWMC strives to teach valuable skills, including the use of ICT's, that allow African women to strengthen their capacity as journalists and leaders in the media profession.

Gifti Nadi
Project Manager
International Women's Media Foundation
1726 M Street, Suite 1002
Washington, DC 20011