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The African Union (AU) in partnership with Nutrition International, announced the launch of the AU Media Fellowship Award 2024-2025, focusing on the “Prioritization of Adolescent Nutrition in Africa.” This transformative initiative empowers African media professionals to promote accurate and impactful storytelling using emerging technologies, with a specific focus on addressing iron deficiency anaemia and malnutrition in adolescent girls. The launch event saw over 30 media practitioners convene for the annual media roundtable that precedes the African Union Summit 2023.

“The launch of the Media Fellowship for 2024-2025 presents a valuable opportunity to delve into this crucial topic of adolescent nutrition, and harness the power of media to amplify awareness, foster meaningful dialogue, and drive actionable solutions towards ensuring a nourished and thriving future for Africa’s adolescents” said Prof. Julio Rakotonirina, the Director of Health and Humanitarian Affairs at the African Union Commission (AUC).

The Director further noted that “media stands as a formidable force in popularizing the AU and Nutrition International’s joint advocacy campaign, With Good Nutrition, She’ll Grow Into It’. Its role is paramount, especially when addressing the nutritional needs of Africa’s adolescents -a demographic often overlooked yet pivotal in shaping the continent’s future.”

“This fellowship aligns with our commitment to raising public awareness on the importance of nutrition, particularly in addressing issues like malnutrition and adolescent nutrition.

— Joel Spicer, President and CEO, Nutrition International

The fellowship aims to recognize journalists’ contributions, enhance the quality of nutritional journalism and showcase innovative approaches to improve adolescent nutrition. Five selected fellows, representing each of the five African Union regions, will receive a USD $3,000 to support their work during the fellowship, mentorship from nutrition experts, access to resources and a platform to publish their stories through media partnerships.

“A well-nourished adolescent is more likely to stay in school, learn and succeed, contributing to the development of their family, community and country,” said Joel Spicer, President and CEO, Nutrition International. “This fellowship aligns with our commitment to raising public awareness on the importance of nutrition, particularly in addressing issues like malnutrition and adolescent nutrition.”

Spicer called upon African Union member states and the media to understand the difference between food and nutrition, noting that a food program fights hunger, while a nutrition program fuels growth, development and overall wellbeing. The integration of these two pillars enhances  the health of individuals, communities and nations.

The African Union’s Information and Communication Directorate called on interested media professionals to apply for the AU Media Fellowship 2024-2025 by March 30th, 2024. The fellowship encourages pitches aligned with the AU’s campaign on adolescent nutrition, emphasizing the role of nutrition in the physical, cognitive and overall development of African youth.

Aligned with Agenda 2063 goals, the AU Media Fellowship seeks to address sociocultural barriers to accessing adolescent response services and gender-related barriers, by analyzing conditions of adolescent nutrition conditions in various regions and establishing connections with SDG 2030 objectives.