A Nigerian journalist with the HumAngle, Muhammed Akinyemi, on Saturday emerged the overall winner of the 2023 West Africa Media Excellence Conference Awards in Accra, Ghana.
Akinyemi beat 16 other finalists to win the covetous subregional awards with his story titled “All Die Na Die: At the Heart of Nigeria’s Soot Problem”.
The awards were organised by the Media Foundation for West Africa, MFWA.
As the overall winner, Akinyemi smiled home with $2000 prize in addition to the $500 he had earlier won for emerging the winner of the Environment category of the awards.
Other categories include Human Rights, Business, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Migration and Investigative reporting.
In his address of welcome, Sulemana Braimah, Executive Director, MFWA, said 825 journalists made entries for the awards from 15 countries.
Braimah explained that the awards, which started seven years ago, were meant to appreciate the role being played by journalists in the subregion.
“We are in a great democratic recession for military has taken over power in about four countries in the region.
“Terrorism, kidnapping and banditry are escalating the level of insecurity in our region. Even where there are democracies in the region, there are weakling institutions.
“In a moment like this, public looks up to the media to play its role. Unfortunately, media is not spared by the challenges in the society such as attacks on journalists and the challenge of the prevailing economic situation.
“In spite of these challenges, we have some journalists who are leaving above board, spotlighting corruption within the system.
“Therefore, this gathering is meant to reward them,” said the executive director.
The annual awards are being supported by United States Embassy in Ghana, MTN Ghana, Stanbic IBTC bank, OXFAM and WADEMOS.