Representatives of the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) Nigeria visited the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) at its office in Lagos, on Wednesday, 22 September 2021. The visit was to discuss progress on the OSIWA-supported 2021 Report Women! Female Reporters Leadership Programme (FRLP) which is geared at creating a community of female reporters with leadership prowess, who can move the conversation on Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) and criminal justice forward.
Speaking on the purpose of the visit, Joseph Amenaghawon, Programme Coordinator, OSIWA, stated that it was to assess the performance of the project and get to touch-base with WSCIJ on issues that may need attention. Motunrayo Alaka, Executive Director/CEO, welcomed the OSIWA team and thanked the organisation for its support.
The WSCIJ project progress report was presented by Toyin Craig-Adeniran, Programme Officer, WSCIJ. It showed proof of a strong army of female reporters who lead newsrooms to fight SGBV and increase leadership of women in news and newsrooms. According to the presentation, 21 female reporters were selected from 146 applicants from Nigeria and four other countries—including Spain, Uganda, the Gambia and Kenya. The participants were undergoing mentoring to implement their story and leadership projects. Other activities planned include the Media Justice Status Report on SGBV, a share-fair and an award and fellowship induction event.
Some of the participants joined virtually to share their experiences. Abimbola Adegboyega of Broadcasting Service of Ekiti State said she hosted a training with 59 participants. Temitope Oluleye of Royal FM 95.1, Ilorin, hosted a gender conference in Ilorin, after which she created a multimedia platform for reporting girls and women issues. Another beneficiary, Anita Eboigbe of HumAngle Media Limited, said she was training 45 female student-journalists, some of whom have published their first-ever feature stories.
Other beneficiaries who spoke about the impact of their projects following the training include Ima Obong of Inspiration FM 105.9, Uyo; Osaruonamen Ibizugbe of ITV Radio, Abuja; Kofoworola Belo-Osagie of the Nation Newspaper; and Titilope Fadare of Premium Times. One of the mentors, Bimbo Oloyede, veteran broadcaster, who also joined virtually, said the five female reporters she is mentoring have become more confident than they were before.
In addition to the Project Coordinator, the OSIWA team included Ndidi Nwaobasi, Learning, Monitoring & Evaluation Associate; Catherine Angai, Programme Coordinator; Peter Ocheikwu, Grants, Monitoring & Evaluation Coordinator; and Andrew Ampomah, Admin and Finance Coordinator. Other members of staff from the WSCIJ team were Adeolu Adekola, Snr Programme Officer; Samson Ademola, Programme & Research Officer, Hope Nwadiwe, Admin Officer; and Yakubu Afuye, IT Officer.
The meeting afforded both the OSIWA and WSCIJ to cross-learn, better appreciate each other’s operations and perspectives and agree on ways to improve future collaborations.