The School of Science and Technology (SST) in partnership with Transparency International Kenya and Code Africa hosted 45 USIU-Africa journalism students, mainstream media and freelance journalists and bloggers for a three-day training themed “Action for Transparency (A4T)”, at the Freida Brown Student Center, from Wednesday, November 29 to Friday, December 1.
Conducted by several experts including Assistant Professor of Journalism Dr. Maria Canudo, and Journalism Lecturer Isaiah Cherutich, and their colleagues from Kenya, South Africa, Germany and Spain, the training aimed at empowering participants with skills to investigate cases of suspected corruption or mismanagement of public funds and analyze financial or budgetary information relating to the health and education sectors.
The Action for Transparency Project is a collaboration with the Swedish-based Fojo Media Institute and Transparency International Kenya to use technology, aided by an empowered citizenry, to strengthen democratic accountability and transparency in Kenya through citizen monitoring of government expenditure.
The training was also expected to add value to the School of Science and Technology’s Journalism program, by teaching aspiring journalists how to authoritatively question and verify information from their sources in order to produce credible news stories.
In her brief remarks the Dean of the School of Science and Technology Prof. Valerie Adema, noted that the training came at an opportune time , as the University is planning to separate Journalism and Communication Studies programs from her School to form the proposed School of Communication, Cinematics and Creatives Arts. The new School will from Summer 2018 also host an additional two undergraduate programs; the Bachelor of Arts in Animation and the Bachelor of Science in Film Production and Directing.
Also present at the event was Transparency International’s Project Coordinator Mr. Abraham Marita, who urged to use their new skills to facilitate accountability in the budgetary processes of the public service delivery sectors.