Nigerian Reporters among Finalists in the AMI, ICJ African Story Challenge


Two Nigerian reporters, Dayo Aiyetan and Oluyinka Alawode, have been shortlisted alongside 18 other finalists in the African Media Initiative (AMI) and International Centre for Justice (ICJ) African Story Challenge.

The African Story Challenge is a new programme of providing reporting grants to encourage innovative, multi-media storytelling that aims to improve the health and prosperity of Africans.

The finalists were shortlisted from a total number of 315 entries across Africa. These entries were screened by a technical review panel after evaluating which ideas can make top quality stories on the project’s focus areas which are; agriculture, food, disease prevention and treatment, maternal and child health

The two-year project encourages journalists to experiment with new content ideas and ways to engage audiences through mobile technology, social media and other innovative tools. It also aim to spur compelling, analytical, investigative and data-driven stories that lead to better policies, increase transparency and hold officials accountable.

The African Story Challenge Director Joseph Warungu, who is AMI’s content development manager said “We are thrilled that we received so many fine ideas from journalists who want to tackle agriculture and food-related issues critical to their communities and the continent,”

The 20 Finalists will attend a Story Camp in Naivasha, Kenya, where they will be mentored and taught digital and data journalism tools to enhance their work and ensure maximum public engagement.  They will also receive grants to complete their projects.

An international panel of editors and media experts will judge the 20 stories that were shortlisted and select the competition’s winner after they have all completed their projects

The finalists are:

  • Johanna Absalom, Freelance, Namibia
  • Dayo Aiyetan, Daily Trust newspaper, Nigeria
  • Jonathan Akweteireho, Freelance, Uganda
  • Oluyinka Alawode, Business Day Media, Nigeria
  • Mabvuto Banda, Weekend Nation, Malawi
  • Joseph Burite, SMS Media, Uganda
  • Alex Chamwada, Citizen TV, Kenya
  • Elias Gebreselassie,,  Ethiopia
  • Anthony Kamba, New Nation Newspaper, South Sudan
  • Samuka Konneh, Liberia Media Center, Liberia
  • Kouassi Selay Marius, Abidjan Live News, Ivory Coast
  • Wisdom Mdzungairi, Newsday Daily Newspaper, Zimbabwe
  • Mustapha El Mehdi, El Watan, Algeria
  • Billy Muiruri, Nation Media Group, Kenya
  • Comfort Mussa, Freelance, Cameroon
  • Diana Neille, eNews Channel Africa, South Africa
  • Mildred Odongo, Freelance, Kenya
  • Bruno Sanogo, Freelance, Burkina Faso
  • Paul Monde Shalala, Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation, Zambia
  • Nana Boakye Yiadom, Citi FM, Ghana

In addition to the 20 finalists, 35 journalists who were not shortlisted will receive smaller grants to assist them in completing their stories.

Over two years, the project will award approximately 100 major reporting grants and provide mentoring to support the best ideas for stories on development issues. Journalists who produce the best stories published or broadcast in media that reach African audiences will win cash prizes or a major international reporting trip.

The story challenge is a project organised by the AMI and ICJ, supported by the Bell and Melinda Gates Foundation, the African Development Bank and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa.