Botswana Editors Forum in collaboration with Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) held a two day workshop in Gaborone this week to train journalists on economic reporting.

The training focused on reporting on Small Medium and Micro-Enterprises (SMMEs).

Its aim was to equip the target group of media practitioners with skills and practices of small business reporting.

Journalists were also trained to understand and appreciate financial data relating to SMMEs as well as using it in news reporting.

The workshop was facilitated by South African Professor Nixon Kariithi.

When officially opening the workshop, Vice President Dr Ponatshego Kedikilwe said journalists can help to uplift SMMEs through reporting about them.

He said SMMEs have been identified around the world as critical elements for achieving sustainable inclusive development through more diversified and productive economy.

“SMMEs serve as incubators of innovation and entrepreneurship.

I think LEA and CEDA should also promote and mentor Rural Development Council projects like Oodi Weavers, Zutshwa Salt Project, Mogobane Irrigation Scheme and others.

CEDA has financed 213 new businesses with an expected domestic investment of P391 million from April last year to date.

These are expected to create 1 859 jobs,” Said Kedikilwe

He said Editors Forum has done a sterling job to promote higher standards of journalism.

He said this is commendable considering the level of skills shortage across the media profession which can cause a possible loss of public trust and faith in the media.

Kedikilwe said the seminar will not only enhance better economic reporting but also advance the cause of good journalism and its ethical standards.

CEDA Chief Executive Officer Thabo Thamane said they realized there is a gap in SMMEs reporting and more focus is on big business.

Thamane also said Small businesses contribute a lot in development of this country and make a meaningful impact on other people’s lives that is why CEDA found it fit to sponsor the workshop.

Botswana Editors Forum Chairman Spencer Mogapi Said business reporting is declining in newsrooms and pleaded with other companies to sponsor such workshops to improve journalists’ skills.

He said SMME sector is an important component of business and economic development, hence this workshop intends to fill the skills gap that exist in newsrooms.

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