Being a business journalist with really no educational background in economics as is the case with many business journalists I was excited when I was chosen by the Thomson Reuters Foundation to undergo a week’s training course on financial and economic reporting in South Africa.
As should be expected I was naturally pleased with the topics the course offered because I am a business reporter.
Our trainers David White and Rui Correia dissected into detail otherwise complicated subjects such as inflation, bonds, and stock markets, among others.
Topics such as national accounts statistics, currencies and capital flight also helped a great deal in helping me understand issues related to these subjects much better than before.
The course was not just indoors. It was exciting when we toured some parts of Johannesburg including the Central Business District.
Not only did we have great trainers but we also had a presentation from the director for the Centre for Civil Society at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Professor Patrick Bond, and another from a senior analyst at Standard Bank, Simon Freemantle, on key topics which were thought-provoking and informative.
I loved the exercises we undertook after almost every topic because they were not only informative and helpful but fun as well. This is unusual for a typical business exercise.
It was also fun to meet the 10 other journalists from all around Africa who were present at the training.
Our enjoyable times after training hours were when we had to rush to the mall after classes to purchase a couple of items before shops closed at six, deliberating among ourselves what to have afterwards for dinner.
Our countries were discussed among us every now and then and it was interesting how trends were sometimes similar and sometimes very different.
The training indeed was just what I expected and even more.