A journalist at HumAngle Nigeria, Muhammed Akinyemi, has emerged as the best West African journalist of the year in the seventh edition of the West African Media Excellence Awards (WAMECA).
Mr Akinyemi, one of the 17 journalists earlier shortlisted for the regional awards, clinched the overall best at an award ceremony in Accra, Ghana, on Saturday night.
The previous 2022 edition of WAMECA was won by Tessy Igomu, head of investigations at Punch Newspapers in Nigeria.
The organisers of the awards, Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), said 855 entries were received from journalists in 15 West African countries for the latest 2023 edition.
Sulemana Braimah, the Executive Director of MFWA, said the 825 entries were filtered to 100 before, “a three-member jury chose the 17 finalists, and then whittled it down to six winners in six categories. The finalists are winners in their own right.”
At the colourful award ceremony on Saturday, the winners of the six categories were unveiled.
Mr Akinyemi won the Environmental reporting category with his story titled, “All Die Na Die: At The Heart Of Nigeria’s Soot Problem.”
Published in May 2022, Mr Akinyemi’s story detailed how illegal oil activities cause irreparable environmental pollution in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria’s south-south region.
The article, which won the Environmental reporting category with a cash reward of $500, also earned Mr Akinyemi the West African Journalist award and a $2000 cash prize.
Other categories of winners were: Gbenga Salau (Guardian Newspaper Nigeria) who won the Business reporting prize; Emmanuel Debrah (Multimedia Group Limited Ghana) clinched the ICT reporting category; the migration reporting prize went to Emmanuel Ayamga (Pulse Ghana); Komla Adom (TV3, Ghana) took away the prize for Human rights category; and the award for Investigative reporting went to Francisca Enchill (Joy News, Ghana).
The six winners received $500 each for their efforts in enterprising reporting.