The West and Central African Research and Education Network (WACREN) in collaboration with the Ghanaian Academic Research Network (GARNET) has organised a two-day workshop in Accra, as part of initial steps to operationalise the All Varsity News Network (AVNN) in the WACREN region.

AVNN would be an online news-sharing and discussion platform for mass communication and journalism students across various institution of higher learning in West and Central Africa.

While exchanging knowledge on the platform, users would help to promote the activities and developments of national research and education networks (NRENs) in their respective countries as well as that of WACREN.

The Workshop brought together more than 40 members of faculty, student media advisors and students from several institutions in Ghana, and a representative from Eko-Konnekt – an NREN in Nigeria.

The Fulbright Specialist and Co-Chair of the Workshop, Dr. Donna Oti, walked the participants through the concept of students news and information network and how African universities and research and education networks (RENs) can explore to realise their communication and marketing strategies.

Having been part of creating and sustaining student media in different countries, she shared practical experience on how to create, sustain and improve student media.

The Chief Strategy Officer of WACREN and Co-Chair of the Workshop, Omo Oaiya described the technical and operational support that would be needed to begin, sustain and improve AVNN to meet its objectives. 

He said WACREN has the proclivity to engage various relevant stakeholders to make AVNN work and upped to a higher scale in the WACREN enclave.

Professor Cosmas Akuta, an accomplished student media expert, charged participants to scale the challenges that come with creating and sustaining student media in their respective institutions by embarking on solid stakeholder consultations and engagements at different times. 

This he said, would create buy-in and court the support of all strategic decision-makers of student media.

Professor Kehbuma Langmia, the Chair of Strategic, Legal and Management Communication at the Howard University, advised the participants and other stakeholders of AVNN to consider Afrocentrism in their content direction.

He implored participants to focus on changing the African narrative on the global space by sharing information on the rich African heritage and bringing the intelligent African perspective to issues and matters that are of global relevance.

WACREN is on course to rallying mass communication institutions of higher learning in WACREN member countries to join AVNN.