2004 – 2011

In 2002 planning started for a collaboration between several partners to start an exchange program for young journalists from Ethiopia, Tanzania and Norway. The resulting project involved Gimlekollen School of Journalism and Communication, Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation and the Media Women’s Associations of Ethiopia and Tanzania. Later Uganda and Kenya, through the Media Women’s associations there, also participated in the exchange. 24 journalists took part in the exchange during the six years that the project lasted.

The idea behind the project was to get African media workers involved in the presentation of African music – and music from other continents – in Norwegian Radio, and to inspire them to focus on music journalism, and on cultural journalism in general. Another project goal was to give Norwegian media workers knowledge and experience of African media and culture, by letting them work in an African environment. There was also an ambition to inspire the development of an African cultural journalism, which according to both artists and journalists in the countries involved was not very well developed.

The project was initiated by Sigbjørn Nedland and Hannah Wozene Kvam. Hannah became the first Norwegian in the project to go to work in Ethiopian media. Nedland’s employer NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation) agreed to be part of the project, but did not want to be administrative partner, so Nedland approached Gimlekollen School of Journalism and Communication, who agreed to join the project, and to provide some administrative services in addition to sharing part of the responsibility for the employment of the exchange journalists.

In Africa, a network of organisations for female media workers was contacted, and the first collaboration agreements were written with Ethiopia Media Women’s Association, and Tanzania Media Women’s Association. After four years of exchanges with these two, the second leg of the project was agreed with their sister organisations in Kenya and Uganda: Association of Media Women in Kenya, and Uganda Media Women’s Association.

Hannah Wozene Kvam, had been doing some freelance work for the radio show Jungeltelegrafen. Having been adopted from Ethiopia to Norway at a very young age, she had a wish to get to know a little more of her original country and its culture and people. She and Sigbjørn Nedland got together with representatives of FK Norway, who were coordinating and supporting exchanges of young professionals between Norway and countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. This meeting resulted in a proposal and an application from Nedland to start an exchange of young media workers. The proposal was accepted by FK, and an exchange could be started, thanks to Hannah’s initiative.

The project was hosted in Norway by FK, Gimlekollen Media School and Nedland’s radio show Jungeltelegrafen at NRK. Norwegian participants were selected in auditions by Gimlekollen and Jungeltelegrafen, and the African organisations in the project were organizing auditions to select the young media workers from their respective countries. The Norwegian participants worked for the African Media Women’s Associations in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda, gaining knowledge about African media and journalism, and the African participants divided their time between Gimlekollen Media School (2 days per week) and NRK Jungeltelegraen (3 days per week). At Gimlekollen they took part in activities with the students, and did some lecturing about African journalism and media. In Jungeltelelgrafen they were active reporters contributing to the weekly broadcasts about global music doing interviews with artists from all over the world, features and music presentations.

Left: Fatuma Matulanga and Helen Hailu in Jungeltelegrafen’s studio. Center: Patience Nyange interviewing Swedish rapper Timbuktu. Right: Diana Etsabo and Everlyn Kiwewesi with NRK colleagues celebrating a successful live show from the Oslo World festival.

All 24 participants in the exchange project:

Hannah Wozene Kvam (Norway), Freyhiwot Nadew (Ethiopia), Raziah Mawawanga (Tanzania), Nikolai Høgset (Norway), Liyunet Demsis (Ethiopia), Astrid Randen (Norway), Dorothy Mmari (Tanzania), Kristoffer Sævre (Norway), Rebecca Tadesse Hunde (Ethiopia), Ida Sem Fossvik (Norway), Flora Nzema (Tanzania), Tormod Nuland (Norway), Fatuma Matulanga (Tanzania), Øystein Fossum (Norway), Helen Hailu (Ethiopia), Anette Os (Norway), Everlyn Kiwewesi (Uganda), Ellen Lunden Paalgard (Norway), Diana Etsabo (Kenya), Marita Sørbø (Norway) Annet Najjemba Muwanga (Uganda), Anne Kari Garberg (Norway), Helen Hillevi (Norway) and Patience Nyange (Kenya).