Ten (10) young journalists have been selected for the 2023 edition of the Next Generation Investigative Journalism Fellowship (NGIJ) organised by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA). This year’s fellows comprise four females and six males selected from Ghana.
The NGIJ Fellowship promotes public interest and accountability journalism in West Africa through mentorship and training of young journalism graduates. The fellowship blends theory and practice to improve the knowledge and sharpen the skills of selected journalists to produce compelling journalistic pieces that advance human rights and governance transparency, accountability and participatory public discourse.
The 2023 Fellowship, which is the third edition, will focus on key issues like progressive taxation, domestic resource mobilization, tax justice and illicit financial flows. Fellows will be hosted for a comprehensive three-month mentorship with Fact-Check Ghana and The Fourth Estate, both being the MFWA’s public interest and accountability journalism projects. They will receive intensive practical training in investigative journalism, fact-checking, mobile journalism and data journalism among others. They will also be taken through how to use the RTI law to access important datasets for story development.
Other activities will include seminars, story writing, producing fact-checking reports including fieldwork; Institutional tours; Speaking engagements with high-profile industry players and some recreational activities. At the end of the Fellowship, each Fellow is expected to produce at least two significant reports. They will also receive a certificate of participation upon successful completion of the fellowship.
The MFWA launched the maiden edition of the NGIJ in 2021 which saw a cohort of 10 young journalists from Ghana participating in the Fellowship. This report, for example, captures a synopsis of some of the compelling stories produced and published by the first Cohort of Fellows holding authorities to account in the provision of basic amenities such as water, health facilities etc.
The second edition hosted 13 budding journalists from Ghana, Sierra Leone and Liberia. Reports produced by some of the fellows held governments in West Africa to account across many sectors including health, education, trade and industry. A report produced by one of the fellows during the period of training emerged best news writing report in Sierra Leone. Also, following the comprehensive fact-checking training under the fellowship programme, two of the fellows from the second cohort led Sierra Leone’s efforts to fight against fake news during the country’s general elections.
The 2023 edition received over 100 applications. Fellows were recruited through a competitive selection process including aptitude tests and interviews.
Below is the list of the 2023 Fellows:
- Jessie Ola-Morris – Greater Accra Region
- Albert Kuzor – Volta Region
- Ibrahim Khalilulahi Usman – Ashanti Region
- Leroy Hawkson – Greater Accra Region
- Rafiq Nungor Adams – Upper West Region
- Naomi Kwofie – Greater Accra Region
- Sandra Agyeiwaa Otoo – Greater Accra Region
- Benjamin Tenkorang – Greater Accra Region
- Emmanuel Kwadwo Gyan – Greater Accra Region
- Mavis Emefa Goka – Greater Accra Region
This year’s Fellowship is supported by NORAD through OXFAM-Ghana.