Independence Statement and Governance
STATEMENT OF INDEPENDENCE
The Africa Science Media Center (AfriSMC) is an independent and non-profit organization established in September 2020 in Nairobi, Kenya, with initial funding support from ScienceAfrica and the Connell University to cover its operations until December 2021. AfriSMC is currently seeking funding opportunities from multiple sources to maintain, deepen and increase its activities. AfriSMC activities are aimed at improving credibility of media reporting of scientific issues and combating misinformation on key areas like climate change, biotechnology, and vaccines by providing evidence-based information to the public. The staff of AfriSMC maintain full programmatic control of all its activities. To demonstrate its independence, the AfriSMC’s policy is to eventually cap funding from any single source to a maximum of 30% of its annual budget. The operation of the AfriSMC are not subject to the direction and/or influence of any individual, agency, funder or government. The AfriSMC maintains full editorial control and decision on what experts to engage, which depends on their demonstrable credibility, relevance and expertise. Panels of advisors and trustees are in place for quality control and to ensure that the AfriSMC is not operating under any political or commercial interest or interference. AfriSMC is currently building bridges and networks with scientists, journalists, editors, information officers, and like-minded organizations to enable it realize its mandate of informing public debate and understanding of emerging scientific issues.
This is the supreme decision-making organ of AfriSMC. It’s comprised of 9 members who meets at least two times a year on matters of the organization. They are people with experience in the fields of communication, law, finance, science, technology and innovations.
The center is guided by a voluntary team of advisors from various fields of study/professional experience. The team is made up of 13 experts in engineering, biomedical sciences, agriculture, energy, environment, digital world, space sciences, journalism, innovations and communications. The team meets three times a year.