New editor at The Conversation Africa kickstarts the next chapter
7 February 2021
The Conversation Africa starts a new chapter this month with the appointment of Jabulani Sikhakhane as new editor of the online title. Sikhakhane 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.
Sikhakhane, a former financial journalist, has also worked for National Treasury and the South African Reserve Bank. As deputy editor and editor of economic and business coverage, he has helped establish 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.
TC Africa Board Chair Dr Rob Moore said: “The appointment of Jabulani Sikhakhane as the new editor 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 USA. 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. They are aided by journalists who apply their editing skills to ensure complex issues are conveyed in easily understood formats.
Sikhakhane said: “I am honoured to have been offered the editorship of the Conversation Africa which has grown into a formidable editorial platform since its inception almost six years ago.”
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. Maina is a former veteran editor in Kenya and Soyinka is a two-time Emmy nominated investigative journalist and editor.
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. To date more than 6350 articles written by 4319 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 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.
Issued by Candice Bailey on behalf of The Conversation, 7 February 2021