The Civic Tech Innovation Forum (CTIF) and Jamfest 2023 will help us understand the possibilities of flow that exist and how they can be used to create better futures for African innovation ecosystems. This year’s conference takes place from the 16th to the 19th of October 2023 at the Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
Our theme, #AfricaFlows, is inspired by Artificial Intelligence (AI) which is undoubtedly transforming and disrupting the flow of various processes in our lives. Our call to action at CTIF and Jamfest 2023 is that Africa must flow. #AfricaFlows illustrates the confidence we have in our people’s resilience and their ability to adapt to change, despite our challenges. Flow addresses intelligence, expressions, experiences, conversations, and practices that, collectively, could steer positive impact. We believe that our communities of civic tech and media innovators are a symbol of our ability to flow, and we are ready to demonstrate that due to their innovation, creativity and resilience, #AfricaFlows.
Dr. Enock Sithole, Wits Centre for Journalism, Lecturer, South Africa
Dr. Enoch Sithole is a seasoned journalist and communication expert with over three decades of experience. He began his career in journalism in 1988, rising to positions like political editor and senior assistant editor at the New Nation newspaper. In 1994, he transitioned to communication, holding key roles in government and broadcasting, including chief executive of the News Division at SABC. Enoch ventured into the private sector as a media consultant in 2000 before returning to journalism in 2004 as an editor and publisher. He also made significant contributions to the communication agency sector. With a recent PhD in climate change communication in South Africa, Enoch now shares his wealth of knowledge as a lecturer in Journalism, inspiring future communicators. He was also the inaugural recipient of the Courageous Journalism Award in 1992.
Lungile Ngwenya, Centre for Innovation and Technology, Social Media Editor, Zimbabwe
Lungile Ngwenya is a social media editor at the Center For Innovation and Technology. She has a BSc Degree in journalism and media studies from the National University of Science and Technology in Zimbabwe and currently pursuing a Master of Science degree in journalism and media. She has experience with news writing, social media, online presenting and magazine design. She also has been training media practitioners on how to use TikTok in newsrooms.
Adam Oxford, Area of Effect/OpenUp, Consultant, South Africa
Adam Oxford began his career in the UK over 25 years ago, working as a writer and editor in the technology press during the dotcom boom and bust. He has freelanced for major publishers around the world and spent time at Mail & Guardian as head of digital. A successful entrepreneur in his own right, Adam has coached dozens of media and social impact startups, regularly consults on business strategy and audience development and works with OpenUp on projects to support data-driven journalism.
Pheladi Sethusa, Wits Centre for Journalism, Lecturer, South Africa
Pheladi Sethusa is a lecturer of journalism and media studies at the Wits Centre for Journalism at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. She is a former broadcast journalist and now works as a podcast and documentary producer and editor. Her research interests include journalism education, broadcast journalism, podcasting and digital technologies.
Gregory Gondwe, Harvard – Berkman Klein Centre, Assistant Professor/Lecturer, United States of America
Dr. Gregory Gondwe is an assistant professor of journalism studies and a Harvard Faculty Associate. His research focuses on emerging media trends, particularly in Africa, and their societal implications. He currently investigates the intersection of generative AI and journalism, as well as, the use of social media in Sub-Saharan Africa, examining how individuals form online communities, evade government censorship and surveillance, and navigate biased algorithms. Additionally, he conducts cross-national studies on mis/disinformation in sub-Saharan Africa, examining the connections to gender, geo-location, age, and media literacy.
Nella Etkind, Seen, Head of Community and Training, South Africa
Nella, head of community and training at Seen, possesses a decade-long background spanning live television, radio, podcast development, and documentary-style filmmaking. Throughout her career, she has held roles such as presenter, writer, journalist, producer, and production coordinator. At Seen, she leads the community and training efforts, with a focus on mobile journalism and augmented reality (AR). Nella has recently hosted events in 11 global cities, imparting knowledge about the benefits of AR and actively training attendees in AR filter creation. Seen is a next-generation media company that integrates AI across various aspects of the workflow and newsroom content.
Stefanie Duckstein, DW Akademie, Project Manager Southern Africa, Media Trainer, Germany
Stefanie Duckstein is project manager and media trainer for DW Akademie’s Southern Africa division developing concepts and partnerships in the field of good journalism practice and innovation in the newsroom. Within this framework, she trains visual storytelling and explores ways of experiential and mutual learning. Stefanie is a journalist by profession having worked for national and the international broadcaster DW. As a lecturer and adviser at the media faculty of the Royal University of Phnom Penh, Cambodia she developed together with students a smartphone application for location-based storytelling.
Paul McNally, Develop AI, Founder, South Africa
Paul McNally is the founder of Develop AI, a company that reports on AI in Africa’s media, trains African journalists to code with AI and build AI tools. They also consult media businesses on their AI strategies. He is the founder of Develop Audio, an organisation that trains African journalists to create podcasts and audio projects. From 2020 to 2022 he was the CEO and co-founder of Volume, a MDIF invested company that was also a member of SAMIP and Jamlab. In 2019 he created the voice-note podcast What’s Crap on WhatsApp? And in 2017 he created Africa’s first investigative podcast, Alibi. In 2015 he started Citizen Justice Network, a project at Wits University that trains community paralegals to be radio journalists. He has won more than a dozen awards, is the author of a book on police corruption and was a visiting Nieman fellow at Harvard in 2016.
Kate Skinner, Association of Independent Publishers, Executive Director, South Africa
Kate is a media activist who has worked in public media for over 25 years. She launched the SOS: public broadcasting coalition to fight for an independent public broadcaster. She was the executive director of the South African National Editors’ Forum and now is the executive director of the Association of Independent Publishers, striving to build print and online community media from the bottom up.
Mary-Ann Nobele, Radio Workshop, Project Officer, South Africa
Mary-Ann is a project coordinator for Radio Workshop and has worked for five years in the broadcasting space. She is one of the driving forces behind the podcast I Will Not Grow Old Here which was nominated for an Ambies Award under the best documentary podcast, being the first from the African continent to hold this nomination. Her podcast has also won a world media award under best podcast and radio. Mary-Ann continues to work in the podcasting and radio space, helping develop the skills of young people in community radio.
Julia Evans, Daily Maverick, Journalist, South Africa
Julia is a climate and biodiversity journalist at the largest specialist climate investigative unit in Africa, Daily Maverick’s Our Burning Planet. She speaks to engineers and professors about the physical science of climate change and communities on the ground about the impacts to inform the public in accessible terms about the biggest threat humanity currently faces and expose the influential relationship between bad governance and climate change and conservation.
Makhudu Sefara, TimesLIVE, Sanef, Editor: TimesLIVE, South Africa
Makhudu is an award-winning journalist and editor with over 20 years of mainstream media experience. Makhudu currently works as both the editor of TimesLIVE, one of South Africa’s biggest news sites, and deputy editor of the Sunday Times, the country’s biggest newspaper. Makhudu has a Master’s degree in Innovation Studies from Wits, with a research report focused on innovation challenges faced by SA newspapers. A media freedom campaigner, Sefara is also a member of the SA National Editors Forum.
Towela Nyirenda-Jere, African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD), Head of Economic Integration, South Africa
Dr. Towela Nyirenda-Jere is head of the Economic Integration Division at the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD). The division spearheads flagship programmes and implementation frameworks that advance regional integration in line with the aspirations of the African Union’s Agenda 2063. Towela is an electrical engineer and development practitioner with more than 20 years of experience working in the private sector, academia and international development. She brings knowledge and experience in programme development, coordination, and implementation of cross-border infrastructure projects and is leading teams that are focused on infrastructure development, energy, digitalisation & cybersecurity.
Nomshado Nkosinkulu, Media Monitoring Africa, Head of Communications, South Africa
Nomshado Lubisi Nkosinkulu, a published author, the head of communications at Media Monitoring Africa. She also held the position of a committee member at the South African Internet Governance Forum (ZAIGF). With a strong academic background in media studies, Nomshado has not only led but also skillfully executed strategic communications initiatives across various campaigns. Her expertise extends to diverse areas such as digital literacy, media policy, and media research. Her career encompasses experience in digital media, marketing, public relations, training, and strategic communications. Her passion for tackling disinformation, and digital offenses, and fostering youth development is evident in her dedication to these causes. Through her academic journey and professional experiences, Nomshado has delivered numerous lectures and training sessions, particularly on topics surrounding information disorder, disinformation, and digital media.
Bibi-Aisha Wadvalla, Health-e-News, Managing Editor, South Africa
Bibi-Aisha is an award-winning journalist whose career spans working in radio, television, and development. She’s currently the managing editor at Health-e News. Previously, she worked for eNCA as a specialist science reporter, the SABC as the Middle East foreign correspondent, and SAfm current affairs anchor.
Nazareen Ebrahim, Naz Consulting International, Chief BOT, South Africa
Nazareen Ebrahim, Chief BOT at Naz Consulting International, is a visionary leader in technology, media, and communications. With over two decades of expertise, she spearheads Naz Consulting International’s mission to revolutionise South African professional services through strategic AI applications. Nazareen’s team of seasoned BOTs specialises in AI, data analytics, and marketing strategy. They optimise operations, create tailored marketing strategies, and ensure continuous improvement. As the founder of Socially Acceptable, she is the AI ethics officer, shaping a future where technology aligns with ethical principles. Her portfolio seamlessly combines technical depth with accessible contextualisation, and she is a prominent voice in broadcasting.
Jibi Moses Korsuk Maring, 211Check, Associate Editor, South Sudan
Jibi Moses Daniel is the associate editor at 211 Check, a fact-checking and information verification platform that counters mis/disinformation and hate speech in South Sudan. He is also a fact-checking and digital rights fellow at Defyhatenow, an initiative that aims to foster peace and stability in the country through online and offline activities. He was selected as an Excellence in Journalism Fellow at Agha Khan University, where he received training and mentorship on investigative reporting, data journalism, and multimedia storytelling. He represented 211 Check at the Africa Facts Summit in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2022 and Port Louis, Mauritius, in 2023, where he shared his experience and best practices on fact-checking in a challenging context. He holds a degree in Public Administration from Kampala International University, Uganda, and is passionate about promoting media literacy and debunking misinformation.
Dr Martin Bekker, University of Witwatersrand, Lecturer, South Africa
Dr Martin Bekker is a computational social scientist, ethics of AI lecturer.
Carina van Wyk, Africa Check, Head of Education and Training, South Africa
Carina van Wyk joined Africa Check as head of education and training in May 2019. Having worked as a journalist, content developer, subeditor and trainer, she has two decades of experience in the fields of media and communications. She holds a master’s degree in journalism and media studies from Wits University, as part of which she completed a research project on the impact of independent fact-checking on journalism practice in South Africa. Carina has extensive knowledge of the media landscape and experience in managing and conducting training for journalists, fact-checkers, students and communicators across Africa.
Wakini Njogu, AU Media Fellow, Communications and Advocacy Consultant, Kenya
Wakini Njogu is a multimedia storyteller and researcher with ten years of experience. She is passionate about researching and producing data-driven work that explores gender inequalities, human rights abuses & and internet governance issues. She currently works as a communications and advocacy consultant and is an Africa Union Media Fellow.