Governance and Human Rights Wealth of Nations

Wealth of Nations is an award-winning programme run by the Thomson Reuters Foundation in collaboration with some of Africa's leading organisations promoting excellence in journalism. The project is supported by Norway’s development agency, Norad.

Wealth of Nations was named the winner of the International Capacity Building category at the British Expertise International Awards 2017, which recognise outstanding international work done by UK-based organisations. 

Overview

Read about the programme and current opportunities at our dedicated site, www.wealth-of-nations.org

Wealth of Nations is an award-winning programme run by the Thomson Reuters Foundation in collaboration with some of Africa's leading organisations promoting excellence in journalism. The project is supported by Norway’s development agency, Norad.

Wealth of Nations was named the winner of the International Capacity Building category at the British Expertise International Awards 2017, which recognise outstanding international work done by UK-based organisations. 

The programme recognises that, despite the poverty seen across the continent, Africa is extremely wealthy in natural resources and human capital. It supports African media to investigate why this wealth has not translated into greater prosperity and living standards.

The focus is on illicit financial flows: money that pours out of economies through aggressive tax avoidance, corruption, smuggling, and other means. These illicit flows deprive African nations of vital tax revenues that could be spent on social programs including healthcare, education and basic infrastructure, and bleed countries of funds that could otherwise be invested in projects to create jobs and drive development. Illicit financial flows cost Africa an estimated US$30-60 billion annually.

Wealth of Nations comprises the following elements:

  • Professional development schemes for journalists – journalists with relevant experience can take part in tailored schemes, featuring training, mentoring and modest grant funding to support original reporting, designed to give them the skills and knowledge they need to report on illicit finance
  • Production of investigations – the above scheme is producing a growing cross-border network of specialised reporters. Experienced investigative journalists coordinate this network and drive the production of stories and investigations, to be published in local and international media
  • Capacity development scheme for newsrooms – news organisations can apply to become ‘flagship’ newsrooms for the coverage of illicit financial flows; they will receive bespoke training and support, and have access to reporting grants
Top Highlights

High profile stories produced by journalists and newsrooms taking part in Wealth of Nations include:

  • An investigation uncovering the terms of a deal between the government of Malawi and a multinational mining company, which allowed a railway to be built through Malawi
  • An investigation in Botswana revealing that the country’s Pula Fund, intended to save money for future generations, had been repeatedly raided – sometimes with no explanation given
  • Coverage in Cape Verde, reporting for the first time that the country had in place a policy that could turn it into a tax haven; the policy was later cancelled
  • In-depth reporting in Liberia on how the state oil company ran out of money and had to fire most of its staff and cancel many projects
About Media Development

The Thomson Reuters Foundation is committed to fostering the highest standards of journalism worldwide. We believe accurate, impartial and independent journalism leads to better-informed societies. It holds power to account, strengthens the rule of law and contributes to economic and social development.

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