WanaData is a Pan-African network of female journalists, data scientists and technologists working to change the digital media landscape by producing and promoting data-driven news, while applying digital technologies in storytelling. It is an initiative of the pan-African federation Code for Africa which is an impact accelerator, and a collaborative pan-African federation of civic data and civic technology organizations. The WanaData Pan-African coordinator is Code for Africa Program Manger and ICFJ Knight fellow Catherine Gicheru.
The network was first established in Nigeria in April 2017, as Naija Data Ladies, before expanding to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and South Africa. With the expansion came a new name, Wana (Swahili) : belonging to, son, daughter or children of and Data : ˈ/deɪtə/ noun facts and statistics collected together for reference and analysis. WanaData translates, loosely, as Daughters of Data in Swahili. It has grown from an initial 6 members in Nigeria to more than 50 women across the four countries. There are new chapters starting in Dakar, Rabat and Casablanca.
WanaData members work with national news outlets, community media, and as freelancers, producing quality data stories with a solutions journalism focus. Through Code for Africa and support from our partners, the WanaData receive training on data journalism, as well as technology assistance and micro grants to support in-depth reporting projects. They also receive professional mentorship and career guidance skills.
WanaData members have collaborated on cross border reporting projects that incorporate data visualization, audience engagement strategies, social videos, drone journalism and other innovative approaches, to enhance news content on the continent.
This website showcases some of the journalism produced by the network, as well as news and events on WanaData. Women journalists interested in data, digital storytelling, and the future of news on the continent are invited to join our network by signing up HERE.
We hope the WanaData will become peer mentors and trainers in their own newsrooms and through the academy.Africa resources, introduce other journalists to learn the skills needed to make it in the 21st Century newsroom. The WanaData members will serve as the Trojan horse to lead change in the newsrooms by championing data journalism.