The Africa Women Journalism Project (AWJP) founded by former ICFJ Knight Fellow Catherine Gicheru, in collaboration with the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), is launching the “Bourse Reportage pour les Journalistes Femmes en Afrique francophone” (Reporting Fellowship for Women Journalists in Francophone Africa Project). This initiative seeks to address skills gaps among women journalists in francophone Africa, particularly in Burkina Faso, Senegal, and Togo.


The project aligns with AWJPs mission to narrow the gender disparity in African newsrooms by equipping women journalists with skills, providing mentorship and enhancing reporting on critical gender, health and development issues affecting marginalised and underrepresented communities. 

The project’s ultimate goal is to increase reliable and evidence-based reporting on gender, health, development, education and access to clean water and sanitation in our target countries. To achieve these goals, the project will undertake four main activities:

1. Research Survey On The State Of Women Journalists And Gender Reporting In Burkina Faso, Senegal And Togo

This three-country research survey seeks to identify skills gaps and systemic issues in the media regarding gender representation and reporting in newsrooms across the target countries. Targeting media stakeholders, women journalists and media support organisations, the survey results will seek to highlight systemic challenges and opportunities faced by the media and specifically women journalists. The research will inform the design of future projects and interventions in the region.


The research will also serve as a resource for media houses, journalists, gender researchers and journalism learning institutions among many others by providing a baseline of gender issues in the media landscape of the focus countries.

The final report, based on the analysis of the survey data will be presented online and made available in English and French.

2. Senegal Reporting Fellowship

Building on the lessons learnt during the WA GBV Reporting Fellowship project which included three fellows from Senegal, the “Bourse Reportage pour les journalistes femmes en Afrique Francophone” (Reporting  Fellowship for Women Journalists in Francophone Africa) will enhance the capacity of six women journalists to produce evidence-based reporting around SDGs 1-6 especially those affecting women and marginalised groups in their communities.



The fellowship, designed around AWJP’s model, will offer editorial and technical support including story ideation, data research and analysis and data visualisation. Fellows will also receive mentorship from an in-country mentor, who will also support them in source cultivation, story ideation and development and career advancement.

3. Building a Community of Francophone and Anglophone Women Journalists in West Africa

Despite being in the same geographical region, Francophone and Anglophone West Africa have differing media landscapes due to language barriers, press freedom and cultural factors. 


The AWJP community aims to bring together women journalists from Burkina Faso, Senegal and Togo with journalists from Nigeria and Ghana, to establish peer-to-peer mentorship networks, through skills sharing and collaborative storytelling projects.

Community members will have the opportunity to pitch individual and/ or collaborative story projects that micro-grants will support to encourage members to apply skills gained from the training and information sessions.

4. Building a Community of Francophone and Anglophone Women Journalists in West Africa

AWJP’s core mission is to empower women journalists and enhance their reporting on gender and other underreported issues. The project will provide a core training curriculum on an e-learning platform tailored to meet the needs of women journalists in the region. 


Training modules will cover introductory and advanced courses including data journalism, fact-checking, investigative journalism, digital security, and solutions journalism. Information sessions will feature subject matter experts, activists, and researchers in gender, health and development to provide the fellows with the knowledge, data and sources for high-quality reporting on SDGs 1-6.

We will develop training modules for sources to understand how the media works and how to engage with it, empowering women experts to become sources for stories, data and verifiable information. This effort will help counter societal stigma and misinformation, contributing to developing a database of women experts with the skills to navigate the media ecosystem confidently.


These combined project activities aim to lay the foundation for