The Wits Africa-China Reporting Project (ACRP), hosted within the Journalism Department of the University of Witwatersrand, aims to improve the quality of reporting on Africa-China issues. Despite the expanding links between the two regions, reporting has often been inadequate or polarised, either portraying China as an exploiting predator or a benign development partner. The Project aims to encourage balanced and considered reporting as Africa-China relations are further entrenched in the editorial narrative of both regions.
The Project offers reporting grants, workshops and other opportunities to African and Chinese journalists and encourages collaborations to investigate complex dynamics and uncover untold stories, with an emphasis on on-the-ground impact and perspectives to illustrate how the lives of the people of Africa are changing amid the comprehensive phenomenon of Africa-China interactions.
The Project logo is a fusion of African and Chinese elements
The Project’s logo is based on the Chinese character 人 (rén), meaning people, person or humanity; while the patterning seen on the rén character is based on the Owo Foro Adobe, an Andinkra symbol from West Africa showing a snake climbing a raffia (palm) tree, which is native to West Africa and Madagascar. The Owo Foro Adobe signifies steadfastness, prudence, diligence and valour, as it is difficult for the snake to climb the tree and it has to be persistent to succeed.
The use of the rén character as central element in the new logo is representative of the core ethos of the Project, i.e. to enable and support journalists to tell stories of how the lives and experiences of the people and communities of Africa are being changed and impacted by the comprehensive phenomenon of Africa’s engagement and interaction with China. This signifies the people-focused, non-political nature of the Project and its activities.
The Owo Foro Adobe is one of the Adinkra visual symbols, originally created by the Ashanti people of West Africa in the early 19th century, that represent concepts or aphorisms. The symbols have a decorative function but also represent objects that encapsulate evocative messages that convey traditional wisdom, aspects of life or the environment. The Owo Foro Adobe is an authentically African element and points to the Project’s identity as an African institution that supports Africa-China journalism that puts the interests of Africa and its people first.
Visit the How to apply for a grant page for guidelines on how to apply for reporting grants, or follow this web portal for other opportunities for journalists.
For more information please contact the Project Coordinator Barry van Wyk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Africa-China Reporting Project
Wits Journalism Department
12th Floor University Corner
Tel. +27 (0) 11 717 4692