HumAngle Nigeria journalist, Muhammed Akinyemi, has been topped the Finest West African Journalist of the Yr on the seventh version of the West African Media Excellence Awards (WAMECA).
Mr Akinyemi, one in all 17 journalists shortlisted for the regional awards, bagged the highest prize at an awards ceremony in Accra, Ghana, on Saturday night.
The earlier 2022 version of WAMECA was gained by Tessy Igomu, head of investigations at Punch Newspapers in Nigeria.
The organizers of the awards, West Africa Media Basis (MFWA), stated 855 functions have been obtained from journalists from 15 West African nations for the newest 2023 version.
Sulemana Braimah, govt director of the MFWA, stated the 825 entries had been filtered right down to 100 earlier than: “a three-member jury selected the 17 finalists after which narrowed them down to 6 winners in six classes. Finalists are winners in their very own proper.
In the course of the colourful awards ceremony on Saturday, the winners of the six classes have been revealed.
Mr. Akinyemi gained the Environmental Reporting class together with his article titled “All Die Na Die: The Coronary heart of Nigeria’s Soot Drawback.”
Printed in Might 2022, that of Mr. Akinyemi the story particulars how unlawful oil actions inflicting irreparable environmental air pollution in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, South-South area of Nigeria.
The article, which gained the Environmental Reporting class with a $500 money award, additionally earned Mr Akinyemi the West African Journalist Award and a $2,000 money prize.
Different classes of winners have been: Gbenga Salau (Guardian Newspaper Nigeria) who gained the financial journalism award; Emmanuel Debrah (Multimedia Group Restricted Ghana) gained the ICT reporting class; the prize for reporting on migration was awarded to Emmanuel Ayamga (Pulse Ghana); Komla Adom (TV3, Ghana) gained the award within the Human Rights class; and the Investigative Reporting Award went to Francisca Enchill (Pleasure Information, Ghana).
The six winners every obtained $500 for his or her enterprising reporting efforts.
PREMIUM TIME migration report was one in all 17 finalists shortlisted for the awards.
Journalists should have interaction in accountable reporting
Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, who introduced the grand prize to Mr. Akinyemi, urged journalists throughout the African continent to have interaction in accountable reporting.
Mr. Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), in his remarks as visitor speaker, denounced the rise of navy regimes throughout Africa.
He additionally condemned the undemocratic conduct of some African heads of state who modified their constitutions in a determined try to remain in energy.
The lawyer suggested journalists to have interaction in crucial reporting to uncover individuals and establishments concerned in illicit monetary flows in Africa.
Democracy in peril in Africa
Earlier, MFWA Government Director Mr. Braimah stated: “There’s a recession in democratic governance in Africa.
He expressed concern in regards to the erosion of fundamental human rights and press freedom, that are the cornerstones of democracy.
“We should always all be involved in regards to the erosion of the basic rules of democracy,” Mr Braimah stated.
Denouncing the suffocation of media house throughout Africa, Mr. Braimah urged journalists to defy all obstacles and maintain governments to account.
Talking on the opening of WAMECA on Thursday, famend communications professor and MFWA founder Kwame Karikari stated: “Democracy is beneath siege in Africa.”
He highlighted the rise of navy regimes in West Africa, significantly within the French-speaking nations of Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso and Niger, the place there’s a shrinking democratic house.
Mr. Karikari spoke on the theme of the convention, “Media and democracy in Africa”.
He famous that “the state of democratization throughout the continent in the present day faces threats of main recessions.”
The tutorial lamented that key pillars of democracy – freedom of the press, human rights and freedom of expression – are disappearing from Africa.
Referring to the conduct of elections on the continent, Mr. Karikari stated: “Each form of fraud possible has undermined the sanctity of elections and lowered the establishment to a farce in very many instances. »
In Nigeria, for instance, election outcomes, together with the latest presidential vote, have been contested by opposition political events all the way in which to the Supreme Courtroom, the place the ruling occasion’s victory was upheld.
The beliefs of clear multi-party elections, human rights, freedom of expression, socio-economic progress and safety “…are in the present day beneath severe siege throughout our continent”.
“This explains why virtually all elections in Africa finish in some controversy, authorized dispute or excessive violence, or perhaps a coup, as has occurred in some West African states. “
“Corruption and disrespect for democratic norms and values on the a part of ruling elites and the political class normally have weakened the rule of legislation and rendered state establishments ineffective.
“The system of checks and balances purported to be launched within the political administration of the state is mostly dysfunctional. »
The awards ceremony was attended by Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Info, Fatimatu Abubakar; Robert Karanja, senior director at Co-Develop; and Emily Fertik, Public Affairs Advisor on the U.S. Embassy in Ghana, amongst different dignitaries.
The three-member jury, made up of Hamadou Tidiane Sy and Reyhana Masters-Smith, praised the advance within the topic of investigative journalism within the sub-region.
Nevertheless, he noticed issues associated to “context, weak or poor writing, and grammatical errors in titles.”
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