A total of 825 entries have been received from journalists across West Africa, hoping to compete in the 2023 edition of the West Africa Media Excellence Awards.
The stories were submitted by entrants from some 402 media houses across 15 countries of the subregion, comprising Anglophone, Francophone and Lusophone states.
The entries received, are for a total of ten categories, comprising Human Rights Reporting, Investigative Reporting, Anti-Corruption Reporting, Environmental Reporting and Health Reporting.
The rest are the Telecoms and ICTs Reporting, Business and SMEs Reporting, Migration Reporting, Women Empowerment Reporting and Oil and Gas Reporting categories.
“We have received some very great and impactful stories this year from the journalists in the region. What’s even more exciting is that we are seeing more entries from journalists in countries that previously filled little or no applications at all. We are looking forward to yet another celebration of journalism excellence in West Africa,” Kwaku Krobea Asante, Programme Officer of the MFWA, said.
West Africa Media Excellence Conference and Awards (WAMECA) 2023 is the seventh edition of the annual event which commenced in 2017. Every year, the MFWA uses the WAMECA to put into focus issues of concern within the West African media and governance space.
This year’s focus, which is about ongoing democratic rollback in Africa, is captured in the theme: Media and Democracy in Africa. The event is scheduled for October 19 – 21 and will be held in Accra, Ghana. Participants in this year’s event will deliberate on the current democratic recession in Africa and come out with actionable recommendations to mobilize a continent-wide response to the rollback.
Before the event, the list of finalists for the Awards will be announced in early October after the entries have been evaluated by a jury made up of distinguished, experienced, and renowned media experts.
The West Africa Media Excellence Conference and Awards (WAMECA) is an initiative of the MFWA to promote media excellence in the sub-region. Since its inception 7 years ago, the event has annually hosted more than 300 participants from across Africa and beyond.
In the last seven years, WAMECA has been the platform where outstanding and impactful stories by West African journalists are also highlighted and awarded.
Last year, ten journalists received awards with Tessy Igomu, a journalist with the Punch newspaper in Nigeria, emerging as the West Africa Journalist of the Year.
In the previous year’s edition, Ghanaian Journalist, Kwetey Nartey, and Sama Uthman of Nigeria jointly won the coveted Journalist of the Year Award. Previously, the Award had been won by Manasseh Azure Awuni (2018 & 2020), Burkina Faso’s Sama Tounwendsida Hugues Richard (2019) who works with the private newspaper L’Observeteur Paalga in Burkina Faso, and Multimedia Ghana’s Seth Kwame Boateng (2017).