The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) is proud to announce the winners of the 2021 West and Central Africa Migration Journalism Awards following an awards ceremony that took place on 10 November 2021.

Migration is a complex topic. Journalists play an important role in unpacking these complexities. It is their role to give the public a clear understanding of all sides of the migration paradigm. The competition celebrates journalists who bring attention to the many facets of migration in West and Central Africa in both French and English language. The 8 winners were announced during a virtual award ceremony which was moderated by CNN Journalist Eleni Giokos. Each of the winners received up to USD 1,250 each and a plaque of recognition.

Check out the winners below:

The Climate Crisis Is Driving Violent Conflicts Over Farmland by Olatunji Olaigbe
Media house: Vice
Country: Nigeria

Tchad : à cause des inondations, N'Djaména traverse des moments difficiles by Aly Abdelkader
Media house: Mondoblog RFI
Country: Chad

Our battles with depression, stigmatization after return from Libya by Innocent Duru
Media house: The Nation
Country: Nigeria

Catholic Relief Services offers renewed hope to returned migrants and at-risk migrant communities by Samuel Osei-frempong
Media house: Ghana News Agency
Country: Ghana

Aneker l’espoir renait by Hamidou Diop Amadou
Media house: Ortn
Country: Niger

Labour Migration During a Pandemic by Oyinkansola Adekunle
Media house: TV360 Nigeria
Country: Nigeria

Migration sud-sud : Opportunités et potentialités économiques en derive by Fatou Sagar Diop
Media house: Hebdomagazine
Country: Senegal

Youth in Benin City, Nigeria are picking up skills in High Demand by Chinedu Ekeja
Media house: KU Radio
Country: Nigeria

Watch the Virtual Ceremony for the 2021 West and Central Africa Migration Journalism Awards:

first empty

Virtual Award Ceremony – 10 November 2021, at 10 GMT

Please join IOM, along with media partner, RFI and media relations partner, APO, to celebrate outstanding stories of migration reported by journalists from West and Central Africa.

The award ceremony will be moderated by CNN Journalist, Stephanie Busari and guest speakers, including Aissata Kane, IOM’s Senior Regional Adviser to the DG for Sub Saharan Africa; Honourable Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Nigerian politician and former member of the Nigeria Federal House of Representatives; and more. The awards ceremony will be interactive, and participants will have the opportunity to engage in open discussions with the guest speakers and award winners.

Date: Wednesday, 10th November 2021

Time: 10am GMT Time

RSVP and register your details here


Competition Rules

  1. Entry in this competition is free. 
  2. Participants must be 18 years old and older at the time the entry was published. 
  3. Only nationals from a country in West and Central Africa can participate: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone or Togo.  
  4. Journalists or students in journalism schools officially accredited by one of the countries may participate 
  5. To participate in this competition, Journalists and/or Student Journalists are invited to submit their published articles, radio or video reports on the following thematic areas:  
  • Migration, environment, and climate change (including the links between migration), pastoralism, displacement, planned relocation and environmental degradation, agriculture, water scarcity, coastal erosion, urbanization, desertification, and disasters.  
  • Feature stories on reintegration projects that impact a returnee migrant and/or community.
  • Awareness raising about irregular migration, and
  • Alternatives to irregular migration. 
  1. Geographic coverage – The submitted work must be focused on subjects relating to migration in West and Central Africa. This is defined as stories or reports about migration in countries in the region including internal migration, or from outside the region with a link to countries in the region, or about West and Central Africa diaspora and migrant communities residing in other parts of the world.  
  2. Only entries in which the applicant is the primary author or the co-author of the submitted piece will be accepted. 
  3. Journalists may enter stories from the following forms of media distribution 
  • Print (online or traditional)
  • Broadcast (TV or radio)
  1. Prior to submission, an entry must be published or broadcast through a media outlet (online, in print or on air). The articles or reports must have been published or aired on the media outlet between 1 September 2020 and 31 August 2021.
  2. Multiple entries are acceptable; however, each submission must be submitted online separately.
  3. By submitting entries, you give the right to IOM, APO and the media partners of this competition to republish the pieces on their organization’s platforms.
  4.  Only one entry per person will be accepted.

Submission Criteria

The winning submissions will be selected by a jury made up of IOM, media and specialists from the four thematic areas:

  1. Migration, Environment and Climate Change
  2. Reintegration
  3. Awareness raising about irregular migration
  4. Alternatives to irregular migration

The entries would be eligible for judging if they met the following criteria:

  • Submitted in English or French.
  • Focuses on one of the four thematic areas, and relevant to the West and Central Africa region.
  • The entry can only be submitted by either the primary author or the co-author of the submission.
  • Articles do not exceed 5,000 characters. Video or audio/radio reports do not exceed 3 minutes.

The deadline for submissions is 15 October 2021.


  1. Entries must meet journalistic principles and basic requirements, strictly adhering to professional ethics and standards.
  2. Entries must be an original body of work without alterations.
  3. Entries not previously published will immediately be disqualified without notice.

Terms and Conditions about the prizes:

  • The work meets the Competition Rules described in this call for applications.
  • If selected as a winner, you agree to receive USD 1250 which will be provided by the African Press Organization (APO).
  • If the entry has more than one author, only the applicant who made the submission will be eligible to receive the prize.
  • IOM and/or APO reserves the right to verify the veracity and authenticity of the published journalistic work with the relevant media source.
  • IOM and/or APO reserves the right to extend the submission date or cancel the competition if an insufficient number of works are received.
  • IOM and/or APO reserves the right to give special mention to as many works as the selection committee finds merit the mention.
  • In the case that submissions do not meet the evaluation criteria requested, IOM reserves the right to eliminate one or various of the 8 potential prizes.
  • In case of being selected as a winner, you authorize IOM to disseminate and promote the journalistic works submitted (for no profit to the organization) to meet the objectives of the Prize described in this call for applications.

    Jury Members & Responsibilities

    Jury Members

    Mr. Alpha Seydi BA is IOM Spokesperson and Regional Media and Communications Officer in West and Central Africa. He is an experienced Media and Communications Specialist with in-depth knowledge of media engagement, digital advocacy, and storytelling. Mr Ba holds a Master’s degree in Communications Science with +20 years of experience in managing Communications in both public and private sectors. He served for 10 years as a Senior News Editor in the region. He lived and worked in many countries in Africa and speaks Arabic, French, English, Wolof, and Pulaar.

    Ms. Bajabulile Swazi Tshabalala is the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) Vice-President for Finance and Chief Finance Officer, having been appointed to the position in August 2018. She is also currently the acting Senior Vice President of the AfDB. In her capacity as Vice President Finance and Chief Finance Officer, Ms. Tshabalala chairs the Banks Asset and Liability Management Committee (ALCO) and the Information Systems Steering Committee (ISSC), providing key oversight over all asset and liability management activities of the Bank Group as well its strategic information systems management. Ms. Tshabalala has nearly 30 years of experience in finance, treasury management, capital market operations and investments. She has a BA in Economics from Lawrence University (1989) and an MBA from Wake Forest University (1992) both in the USA.

    Ms. Emily Cholette is the Project Manager for Migrants as Messengers, a regional awareness raising campaign carried out by returned migrants in West Africa and implemented by IOM’s Regional Office in Dakar. She is experienced in designing and implementing participatory awareness raising approaches to counter-trafficking, labour migration, human rights and youth participation projects. She is also experienced in research management, partnership building and communications in Asia Pacific, North America and West Africa. Ms Cholette holds a Master’s in Media, Communications and Development.


    Ms. Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura joined FIFA as Secretary General in June 2016. A Senegalese citizen, Fatma’s mother tongues are French and Wolof in addition to fluent English, Spanish and Italian. Having spent 21 years working on high level United Nations (UN) programmes in Italy, the Republic of Djibouti, Cameroon, Chad, Guinea, Niger, Madagascar, Nigeria, Central America and Central West Asia, Fatma Samoura is well known for her commitment to furthering humanitarian causes. It was this commitment and tenacity that led to her being chosen as FIFA’s Secretary General in May 2016. As the first Muslim African woman to hold the position of FIFA Secretary General, she is a trailblazer for diversity and gender equality. Since her appointment at FIFA the number of women employed by the organisation has increased across the board including in senior management roles. Fatma Samoura is committed to using the unique power of football to support, encourage and empower people around the world.

    Ms. Fatoumata Lejeune-Kaba is the Head of the External Engagement Unit of UNHCR’s the West Africa Regional Office. She is a former journalist who worked for Radio Télévision Guinéenne (RTG) and Reuters before joining UNHCR 22 years ago. She currently heads the external relations section and serves as spokesperson. Her career at UNHCR has focused on communications and media relations.

    Ms. Hind Aïssaoui Bennani is the Regional Migration, Environmental and Climate Change Specialist at IOM in West and Central Africa in Dakar, Senegal.  After a technical degree in aquaculture and a practical experience in agriculture, she worked for an agricultural trade union in France, supporting small farmers and youth in accessing water, land, medias and courts. In this role, she also contributed to international campaigns on labour migrants’ rights in agriculture. As an independent journalist, she then covered social issues in rural Morocco, among them labour migration. Specialized in local policy planning through sustainable energy, she then integrated IOM Morocco to coordinate the Migration, Development and Environment Unit.  In Dakar, Ms. Bennani now mobilizes her experience to shape a fairer narrative on environmental migration in West Africa, and to support stakeholders in better manage human mobility in the context of environmental degradation and climate change.

    Mr Ibrahim Kargbo is a returned migrant, activist, musician, songwriter and an actor from Sierra Leone. He is also a Volunteer with the Migrants as Messengers project and works with a Community Based Organization where they focus on youth empowerment, life skills and community development. He studied Data Processing at the Njala University.




    Franco-Gabonese self-made entrepreneur Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard is the Founder, Chairman and 100% owner of APO Group, the leading Pan-African communications consultancy and press release distribution service. Nicolas created APO Group in 2007 while he was a journalist for online Gabonese media Gabonews and Deputy President of the Pan African Press Organization in France (APPA – Association de la Presse Panafricaine). He founded the company with a savings of €10,000, as start-up capital. The objective was to provide international and African media access to reliable news about the continent’s economy, businesses, and investment. Since then, APO Group has helped communicators relay compelling, uniquely African stories to audiences, enabling a change in the African narrative to a more positive tone.

    Ms Ramatoulaye Diene is Senegalese and a journalist at Radio Afia, a community radio station in the suburb of Dakar in Senegal. She is also a member of the young journalists’ network about migration in Senegal. She travelled to Morocco as part of her work, to report on the conditions of departure of Senegalese migrants to Morocco. After witnessing the difficult living conditions of migrants during her stay in Morocco, she decided to join the “Migrants as Messenger” project in 2018.



    Mr. Selim Meddeb is the Senior Editor of UNHCR’s Regional Bureau for West and Central Africa. He started his career as a journalist in France before moving to Lebanon in 2007, where he worked for many media outlets including AFP. He was a correspondent for France 24 in Beirut from 2011 to 2017, covering news in Syria and Iraq. He started working for the United Nations in 2019, covering the General Assembly for the Secretariat before joining UNHCR in 2020, in Niger, then at the Regional Office in Dakar.

    Mr Amadou Gallo Fall, President of the Basketball Africa League (BAL)

    Christian Yoka, Africa Director of the French Development Agency (AFD)

    Kevin Frey, Chief Executive Officer of Generation Unlimited (UNICEF)

    Filipe de Botton, Founder of the Portuguese Diaspora Council

    Yves Rocle, Deputy Director of RFI in charge of African Languages

    Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Nigerian politician and former member of the Nigeria Federal House of Representatives representing Ikorodu Constituency in Lagos State


    Media Partner:

    Official Public and Media Relations Partner:

    Competition funded and/or implemented by:

    Pin It on Pinterest