We are delighted to announce the appointment of Jabulani Sikhakhane as Editor of The Conversation Africa (TC Africa). He takes over the reins from Caroline Southey, who will assume the role of Founding Editor, shifting her focus to the site’s future sustainability. She will also deputise for the editor in his absence.
Jabulani is a highly respected financial journalist and columnist. He has also worked for National Treasury and the South African Reserve Bank. As deputy editor and editor of economic and business coverage at The Conversation Africa he has played a leading role in establishing the site as a respected and trustworthy media player on the continent. He has been particularly instrumental in steering its orientation towards East and West Africa while consolidating its position in Southern Africa.
The appointment speaks to our confidence in the next stage of The Conversation Africa’s development. As chairman of the board it has been a pleasure to oversee a smooth transition that is testament to the quality, maturity and depth of leadership that’s brought The Conversation Africa this far.
TC Africa is part of the global Conversation family of eight sites based in Australia, Canada, France, Indonesia, New Zealand, Spain and US. The Conversation started in Australia with the simple idea of using journalistic skills to make the expertise of academics easily accessible to the public. This has successfully pioneered a new model of journalism in which academics are the authors. To ensure their expertise reaches as wide an audience as possible they are aided by journalists who apply their editing skills to ensure complex issues are conveyed in easily-understood formats.
The change in leadership comes as TC Africa marks its sixth anniversary on May 7 this year. Since small beginnings – a team of eight based in Johannesburg – it has steadily built a strong team in Nairobi, Lagos, Accra, and Dakar. Julius Maina and Adejuwon Soyinka lead the East and West Africa editorial teams respectively. TC Africa now has a much richer offering of articles covering more countries on the continent. We have also built a relatively more representative network of academics based on the continent.
The Conversation Africa has grown remarkably in the past six years. The site has shown that a not-for-profit donor-funded model can seed and nurture novel forms of cutting-edge, fact-based explanatory journalism. To date more than 6,350 articles, written by 4,319 academics across the continent and in the diaspora, have been published. As a group, The Conversation has a monthly audience of 18 million users, and reach of 42 million through its republishing model.