ZAM starts seven African-European transnational investigations

Whether it's diamonds or development aid, human trafficking or voluntary migration, billion-dollar arms deals or terrorism, Africa and Europe increasingly deal with the same global issues. Media reports, views, observations and data used for international decision making, however, have been traditionally skewed towards more 'European' than African input. Seven transnational investigations by teams of African and European investigative journalists, facilitated by ZAM, now aim to even the balance.

In the coming six months the ZAM teams will jointly start to grapple with issues such as the quest for health care, the war on terror, development projects-gone-wrong, mafia-type ruling elites and Africa's mineral wealth, among others. The subject choices have been in the hands of the African Investigative Publishing Collective, an eminent body of veteran investigative journalists from ten countries in Africa; contributions have also been received from ZAM's European 'dominant narratives' network of journalists who share with ZAM an eagerness to collect and explore the 'African side' of the coin of key international issues.

A jury consisting of personalities with track records in international investigative journalism and hailing from Uganda, Mozambique, Nigeria, the U.S. and the Netherlands vetted the proposals that emanated from the collective efforts of the AIPC and ZAM. They contributed their collective expertise to fine-tune the investigative plans, also adding useful advice on security issues.

The African side of each team will dig for truths 'on the ground' in a total of fifteen African countries, whilst the European side will look at the role 'the west' plays with regard to the investigated issues. Predominant questions will be, each time, which powers are at play and what the consequences are for the public on both sides of the globe.

Among the more well-known participants are Anas Aremeyaw Anas from Ghana, who reached international fame through his undercover camera exposes which earned him many awards and saw him produce documentaries for, among others, Al Jazeera; Theophilus Abbah, winner of the FAIR Editors' Courage award and participant in the 'Pirates, smugglers and corrupt tycoons' transnational investigation that was nominated for the Daniel Pearl award in 2010; Benon Herbert Oluka, multiple award winner from Uganda; Botswanan editor and poet Tshireletso Motlogelwa; renowned investigator of Mozambique's ruling elite, Estacio Valoi; Eric Mwamba, former chairman of the Forum for African Investigative Reporters and editor of the DR Congo's Wealth Magazine; and the AIPC's rising star in Somalia, 20 year old Muno Gedi.

Overall coordination and editing of the projects is in the hands of the AIPC's ZAM's investigative editor Evelyn Groenink.