News-Decoder takes a strategic step into Africa

Africa

A satellite photo of Africa (NASA, via Wikimedia Commons)

News-Decoder aims to have both an international perspective and an international footprint. Today we took an important step in achieving both those goals.

News-Decoder and the African News Agency (ANA) launched a partnership that will deepen our ties to the African continent while strengthening the African agency’s coverage of international and regional events.

Under the agreement, the South Africa-based news agency will publish News-Decoder's articles, which are written by our team of experienced foreign correspondents and by talented youth around the world. A special team of News-Decoder writers will produce a regular series of articles for ANA focusing on important developments in Africa.

Today ANA published the first article under the agreement, a piece on South Africa by News-Decoder correspondent Barry Moody. Two other correspondents -- Bryson Hull and Jessica Moody -- round out the team of News-Decoder writers who will be producing Africa-related articles for ANA.

The News-Decoder file, which is aimed at young people around the world, will strengthen ANA’s engagement with millennials in its target markets.

News-Decoder, a Paris-based not-for-profit, will work with talented young Africans who produce multi-media articles for ANA to bolster its own global reporting and to identify youth who can contribute to News-Decoder’s international community of young people eager to expand their horizons.

"Africa's youth is its future."

The agreement was signed by ANA Chief Executive Grant Fredericks and Nelson Graves, who founded News-Decoder in 2015.

“Africa’s youth is its future and we are providing stories that will not only interest them but also offer them as many perspectives as possible – from our continent, to Europe, the Americas, Asia and the Middle East," Fredericks said.

"ANA is not only an information agency, it is also an education agency and our partnership with News-Decoder will enhance our provision of both."

Graves said: “Our partnership with ANA marks an important step in News-Decoder’s strategy of extending its global footprint. We cannot pretend to have a rounded, global perspective without hearing the voices of African youth, who carry the dreams of a continent with so much promise but misunderstood by so many outside the region.”

News-Decoder will admit selected African authors into its international youth community, inviting them to webinars and offering them the chance to network with its experienced correspondents and to associate with students and faculty of its members academic institutions.

So far, 11 schools and universities have signed up for News-Decoder's 2017-18 program, which builds on a two-year pilot that confirmed the premise that young people around the world are eager to extend their horizons and to learn about other regions by sharing perspectives and engaging with other youth and experts.

The founding academic institutions include seven that participated in the pilot program: Greens Farms Academy, Indiana University, King's Academy, King's College London, Princeton Day School, School Year Abroad and Westover School.

The other four founding institutions are all based in the United States: Chadwick School, Friends Seminary, St. Luke's School and Thacher School.

Several other institutions have expressed an interest in joining News-Decoder as founding members.

A continent full of hope and opportunity.

News-Decoder offers students at member institutions opportunities to publish on its website, to participate in a twice-yearly essay/reporting contest with $1,000 in prizes, to take part in a series of webinars on major global issues, to participate in and lead online discussions on those issues and to take online courses in news skills.

News-Decoder's team of writers focusing on Africa will examine events and trends on that continent and place them in a regional, continental or international context. The authors will seek to answer two questions: Why does this matter to young Africans? Why does this matter to the world?

ANA is the successor to the former South African Press Association and is backed by South Africa's Sekunjalo Holdings along with a number of African, Middle Eastern, European and American private investors.

ANA seeks to publish content by Africans, for Africans and for the rest of the world, and to showcase Africa as a continent full of hope and opportunity.

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