Aynte in New Journalist Program Fellowship

Friday, September 1, 2006
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Congratulations are in order for Abdi Aynte, the editor of the Somali website and contributing writer at Mshale for his new fellowship at The Center for Independent Media’s New Journalist Program. As part of his beat, Abdi will be covering the African community, the Muslim community, race, immigration, local politics as it’s related to Africans and Muslims and terrorism.

Abdi is glad to accept story tips at [email protected]. His reports and stories can be found at He will continue to contribute to undertake special assignments for Mshale and you can read his story on the effect of closing of the accounts for African money wiring companies by local banks in this edition.

Meanwhile, Edwin Okong’o, Mshale’s West Coast correspondent was named a 2006 Summer Human Rights Fellow at Human Rights Center University of California, Berkeley. As part of the fellowship, he worked with the nongovernmental organization Dick Tiger ’72 Olympian Hero International (named after a Kenyan Olympic boxing medalist) that advocates for the rights of people with disabilities in Kenya. Although Kenya enacted the Persons with Disability Act in 2003, the lives of people with disabilities reportedly have seen little improvement.

He also reported on a number of other issues while in Kenya this past summer and you can read his story about the near-extinction of an environment-friendly timber harvesting skill that was the sole source of income for many men in the Gusii region of Kenya. This will be one of several stories that Mshale will publish.

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About Tom Gitaa

Tom is the President and Publisher of Mshale and chair of the Minnesota Multicultural Media Consortium (MMMC). As Mshale founder, he did a lot of the reporting during the humble beginnings of the newspaper. While he still does the occasional reporting, he now concentrates on the publishing side of the news operation.Tom was also the original host of Talking Drum, the signature current affairs show on the African Broadcasting Network (ABN-America), which was available nationwide in the United States via the DishNetwork satellite service. On the show, he interviewed Nobel laureates such as 2004 Nobel Peace prize winner, Professor Wangari Maathai, the first woman from Africa to win the peace prize and heads of states such as the president ofВ  The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh at State House, Banjul. Tom has previously served in the board of directors of Global Minnesota, the sixth largest World Affairs Council in the United States. He has also previously served as President of the Board of Directors of Books for Africa, the largest shipper of donated books to Africa and. He sits on the board of the United Nations Association.