By Own Correspondent
GRAHAMSTOWN, South Africa -- Rhodes University’s Sol Plaatje Institute (SPI) for Media Leadership has launched a crowd-funding appeal to raise scholarships for African postgraduate students who study media management and leadership at the Institute based in South Africa.
SPI Director Francis Mdlongwa said the appeal was also aimed at raising funds for an expansion of the academic offerings of the Institute, the only university-level institute in Africa and the developing world which runs high-level business and editorial courses and training programmes for media managers and leaders from across Africa.
In launching the appeal, Mdlongwa noted that unlike most educational institutions in South Africa and elsewhere, the SPI had been totally self-funded since its establishment in 2002 and continues to receive no university or state subsidies. So far the SPI has trained more than 2,000 media leaders from Africa through its accredited and certificated professional business and editorial short courses. It has also graduated nearly 200 top-level postgraduate students in media management.
“Many of these graduates today occupy influential positions in the media industry in Africa and internationally,” he said, noting that one graduate had until recently occupied a senior position in London at the global social network Facebook.
Some of the graduates had also performed well. They include a graduate who is running a thriving multi-platform media company in Ghana; one who has established an innovative newspaper in Zimbabwe; one who is a senior business manager for Malawi Television; one who is heading up a broadcasting department in Lesotho; one who recently attained a PhD in Communication, among several others.
“Because the Institute has been and continues to be totally self-funding and because of the high cost of education in South Africa, the SPI needs your generous support as it seeks to expand its pioneering academic programmes and to support many promising African students who are determined to be entrepreneurs and leaders in the rapidly changing media industry of the twenty-first century,” Mdlongwa said.
“With your support, the SPI (www.ru.ac.za/spi/) wants to launch more specialised postgraduate academic programmes in media management such as media entrepreneurship management, strategic media management, digital and social media management, etc., and to support accompanying pioneering research in these areas to better serve a thriving and growing market in a continent whose economic fortunes are rising.”
Mdlongwa is a former senior editor, bureau chief and international correspondent of the global multi-platform news provider Reuters. He joined the SPI in 2004, when the Institute launched its flagship Postgraduate Diploma in Media Management (PGDip in Media Management), the only formal qualification in media management in Africa and the developing world.
“We… need funding in the form of scholarships for the students who seek to study the innovative PGDip in Media Management and, with your support, those who would want to enrol on the more specialised media management academic programmes that we hope to establish,” Mdlongwa said.
“We ask Rhodes University graduates, especially those from the fields of journalism and media studies and media management, friends of Rhodes University, philanthropists and donors from around the world to support the SPI generously with whatever contributions they are able to make. This will enable the SPI to live up to its mission of being a leading and valuable educational provider and resource for the whole of Africa in the relatively new field of media management…”
Donations can be sent to:
Please see Rhodes University’s Bank Details below:
Account Name: Rhodes University
Bank: First National Bank
Branch code: 210717
Account no: 62145508894
Swift Code: FIRNZAJJ
Please use your name+surname+SPI and e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with the proof of payment.
Anyone with questions on the SPI’s appeal for donations can contact Rhodes University’s Annual Fund Officer, Ellen Bagshawe-Smith, at email@example.com.
If you have questions regarding the SPI’s media management academic and training programmes, please contact SPI Director Francis Mdlongwa at firstname.lastname@example.org.