What I write about

Topics and stories

As a freelance journalist in South Africa, my work spans most of the sub-Saharan region. This applies to media assignments and non-media work. Whilst I am able to tackle most issues, from business and economics to African politics, I have profiled myself as an Africa sustainable development writer. Topics I deal with include renewable energy (policy, trends, developments, off-grid and utility scale, etc), the impact of climate change in Africa, human and social development, sustainable agriculture, how we can create GDP growth without harming people or the planet, and anything related to the new Sustainable Development Goals. Please find a selection of topics below.

As an Africa sustainable development journalist, Miriam Mannak has visited the WEF more than once

BUSINESS IN AFRICA – As a business journalist, I cover macro-economics, corporate news, business trends, natural resources, mining, gas developments, trade relations (China, Europe, pan-African) and FDI. Other topics include energy problems & solutions, infrastructure. Clients: International Finance MagazineLeadership Mag, MergerMarket, Forbes, Mining Quarterly, MIT Tech Review.

As a freelance journalist and sustainable development writer, Miriam Mannak has written extensively about renewable energy in Africa

ENERGY IN AFRICA – I am the energy correspondent for various overseas publications. Topics covered include renewable energy trends (and gas & coal) and the impact of energy poverty in Africa. I also write about policy, roll-out of utility / off-grid renewable projects in Africa, IPPs, and more. Clients: Renewable Energy Monitor, Business Live, Public Finance International, Energy Forecast, IPS

DEMOCRACY (southern Africa) – I have covered the elections in South Africa and neighbouring countries (Zimbabwe), and tackled topics like democracy building in southern Africa, human rights, civil society, corruption, diplomatic relations in and with Africa, constitutional issues. Clients: De Persdienst, GroundUp, De Tijd, Mail & Guardian, Business Live, Public Finance International

HUMAN DEVELOPMENT – One of my focal points as a sustainable development writer in Africa is human development. Topics include education, Millennium Development Goals, Sustainable Development Goals, food insecurity, maternal health, public health, the link between environmental degradation and health. Clients: Persdienst,De Tijd, Contributoria, Leadership, Inter Press Service, GroundUp

ENVIRONMENT – Clients have asked me to delve into poaching in Africa, community-based nature conservation, climate change in Africa, the environmental impact of energy poverty, and renewable energy in Africa. I’ve also written about green construction, sustainable farming, ethical tourism. Clients: Persdienst, Contributoria, Intrepid Explorer, Farmers Weekly, Black Business Quarterly, IPS

HUMAN RIGHTS – I’ve written stories and content about media freedom, human rights of refugees in South Africa, xenophobia, and access to electricity. There have been assignments around the human cost of corruption, civil conflict and genocide, sexual and gender-based violence too. Clients: De Persdienst, Harvest SA, Leadership, Inter Press Service, Ubuntu, De Tijd, Index on Censorship, IPS

Some of my latest sustainability projects

Project: I produced a special analysis report on the past, present and future of the South African sustainable building industry and green property sector.
Client: Earthworks Mag, South Africa
Year: 2016

Project: Reportage (text and photos) on Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, which set to become one of the most sustainable and environmentally friendly cities in the world
Client: International Finance Magazine, UK
Year: 2016 

Project: Cover story on why Cape Town is one of the greenest and most sustainable cities in Africa. I wrote the story and provided photographs.
Client: African Green Elements Mag, South Africa
Year: 2016

Project: Interview with Gro Harlem Brundtland about sustainability in Africa & the impact of the Paris Agreement on renewable energy development in the developing world.
Client: African Green Elements, South Africa
Year: 2016

Project: I wrote various sustainability stories, including a feature on renewable energy in Africa and the impact and investment potential of off-grid solar innovations.
Client: Forbes Africa, South Africa
Year: 2016

Project: Every year, NGO Run4Schools hires me to take photographs of their child development and sports projects in Mitchell’s Plain, one of Cape Town’s largest townships.
Client: Run4Schools
Year: Continuous

Project: Feature on how mining in Africa is dealing with (social, environmental, economic) sustainability, including the use of renewables in some processes
ClientAfrElec Power Monitor, UK
Year: 2016

Project: Feature on food insecurity, malnutrition hunger in South Africa, where R60 billion worth of food is thrown away every year, and some of the solutions., 
Client: Forbes Africa Magazine, South Africa
Year: 2015