The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has announced winners of the 2021 West and Central Africa Migration Journalism Awards following an awards ceremony that took place on Wednesday.
Choosing the best writing and reporting in a given year is an impossible task, as well as an entirely subjective enterprise. But it is also rewarding and fulfilling to get to read and watch so many great pieces. This is why this journalist competition aims at fostering quality and balanced reporting on migration subject-matters in West and Central Africa including environmental migration, migrant reintegration, awareness raising about risks and alternatives to irregular migration and alternatives to irregular migration.
The competition celebrates journalists who bring attention to the many facets of migration in West and Central Africa in both French and English language. In light of important discussions at COP26, Olatunji Olaigbe highlights in his winning entry the impact of climate change on people’s movements and how rising temperatures and drought in Nigeria have caused conflicts over lands affecting farmers livelihoods and forcing them to relocate. Mental health and the stigmatisation that many returned migrants face upon their return home, is highlighted in Innocent Duru’s winning entry. The 8 winners were announced during a virtual award ceremony which was moderated by CNN Journalist Eleni Giokos. Each of the winners received up to USD 1,250 each and a plaque of recognition.
Alpha Seydi Ba, IOM Spokesperson for the Regional Office in West and Central Africa is convinced that “the role of journalists in clearly understanding the different dynamics of migration, is crucial. The deconstruction of stereotypes begins with shifting the narrative that underpins the anti-migrant feeling and continues with the sensitization on multiple levels. Migration is beneficial to migrant and the hosting communities. Therefore, stories related to migration must be accurate, fair, balanced. This is vital, as it contributes to preserving the dignity of migrants.”
The complete list of winners:
CATEGORY: MIGRATION ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE
- Vice Nigeria’s Olatunji Olaigbe of Nigeria for his piece in English The Climate Crisis Is Driving Violent Conflicts Over Farmland
- Blog de Foulaty’s (Mondoblog RFI) Aly Abdelkader Foulaty of Chad for his piece in French Tchad: à cause des inondations, N’Djaména traverse des moments difficiles
CATEGORY: STORIES OF REINTEGRATION
- The Nations Newspaper’s Innocent Duru of Nigeria for his piece in English Our battles with depression, stigmatization after return from Libya
- Ghana News Agency’s Samuel Osei-frempong of Ghana for his piece in English Catholic Relief Services offers renewed hope to returned migrants and at-risk migrant communities
- Ortn TV’s Hamidou Diop Amadou of Niger for his piece in French Aneker L’espoir renait
CATEGORY: AWARENESS RAISING ABOUT RISKS AND ALTERNATIVES TO IRREGULAR MIGRATION
- TV360 Nigeria’s Oyinkansola Adekunle of Nigeria for her piece in English Labour Migration During a Pandemic
- Hebdomagazine’s Fatou Sagar Diop of Senegal for her piece in French Migration sud-sud : Opportunités et potentialités économiques en dérive
- KU Radio’s Chinedu Ekeja of Nigeria for his piece in English Youth in Benin City, Nigeria are picking up skills in High Demand