West Africa Media Excellence Awards 2018: Profile of Judges

The 2018 edition of the West Africa Media Excellence Awards will be held on 13th October at the Swiss Spirit Alisa Hotel in Accra Ghana.

The Awards seek to promote and uphold high standards of journalism in West Africa by recognising and rewarding journalists who have distinguished themselves through quality works that are impacting society.

The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) has constituted a three-member panel of highly distinguished, experienced and renowned journalists and media experts to serve as judges who will review and shortlist the deserving entries to be awarded.

Ahead of the announcement of the finalists of the 2018 West Africa Media Excellence Awards next week, we present a short profile of the judges.

Samba Dialimpa Badji – Senegal

Mr. Samba Dialimpa Badji is a Senegalese media professional of great repute, having worked with several local and international media organisations in his brilliant career. Samba Badji was a Senior Producer for the French Service of the BBC from March 2010 – Nov 2014.

He was the Media and Communications Manager for West and Central Africa Regional Office of Save The Children, international organisation that promotes children’s rights and provides relief for children in developing countries, from December 2014 – November 2015. He has also worked for Radio France International. As a freelance media specialist, he has conducted several training programmes for journalists across the world.

Currently Samba Badji is the Deputy Editor of the French version of the fact-checking platform, Africa Check and a lecturer at the Ecole Superieue de Journalisme des métiers de I’internet et de la Communication (Ejicom).

Lanre Idowu – Nigeria

Mr. Lanre Idowu is an accomplished and highly respected Nigerian journalist, editor, author, publisher, media owner and trainer. He is well known in Nigeria for his passion and commitment to quality journalism.

He serves as a Trustee of the Diamond Awards for Media Excellence and the Nigerian Guild of Editors. In 2011, he was the recipient of the Lifetime Award for Media Excellence in Nigeria by the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ).

Mr. Idowu is currently the CEO of Diamond Publications Ltd and editor-in-chief of Media Review, a publication that reviews the performance of the Nigerian Media. He has worked with various leading Nigerian newspapers such as the Daily Times, The Guardian and The Democrat. 

He worked with Thisweek magazine from 1986 to 1989 as an associate editor and deputy editor.  He describes himself as an incurable optimist in the capacity of the media to serve as a tool for development.  

Elizabeth Ohene – Ghana

Ms. Elizabeth Ohene is veteran Ghanaian journalist.  She worked with the Graphic Communications Group between 1967 and 1982 as a Reporter, Staff Writer, Columnist and Acting Editor of the Daily Graphic and Mirror.

She later worked for several years with the BBC as a Producer of Radio Programmes, a Presenter, Senior Producer on World Service, editor of the Focus on Africa programme, and deputy editor in the African Service for English daily programmes.

Ms. Ohene also reported regularly for the BBC from various parts of Africa and was the resident correspondent in South Africa from 1993 to 1994 during the transition from apartheid to the first democratic elections.

She has conducted several training programmes for journalists for the BBC in South Africa, Nigeria, Liberia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia. For a number of years, she served as a Member of CNN Africa Journalist of the Year Competition.

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