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As part of its Open Data Media 2 project, CFI selected five African women working as journalists or leaders of civil society organisations and trained them in the use of open data.
The women were taught how to code and to create and use databases through a series of technical training sessions and are now able to use this kind of information in their investigative and advocacy work. They also developed the skills required to both identify the data they need and determine how to collect and aggregate them. Their involvement in international forums, including the 2018 OGP Summit in Tbilisi, has shown them how their newly acquired skills fit into an innovative international context, opening up new prospects for them.
Having impressed with the commitment they showed throughout the project, Madeleine Ngeunga (Cameroon), Satou Kane (Côte d'Ivoire), Fatima Alher (Niger), Fabienne Rafidiharinirina and Natacha Rananjarison (Madagascar) have shown great rigour and have now gained recognition for their work in their countries of origin. For example, Madeleine Ngeunga, a Cameroonian journalist, received the Forest Media Award in 2018 for her investigative work on mining in the Douala swamp forests.
All of them have been able to develop networks in their respective countries. As such, they now stand as open data bridgeheads and important reference points for the communities of journalists and activists in their countries.
Madeleine and Fatima (a communicator for an NGO from Côte d'Ivoire) are now keen to go one step further by setting up a network of women journalists capable of gathering and producing data with the aim of documenting the role of women in francophone Africa. Their work could feed into advocacy initiatives aimed at promoting the participation of women in public life and gender equality on the continent.