International Migrants Day

African journalists win awards for excellence in labour migration reporting

Press release | Virtual event | 18 December 2020
Eight African journalists were recognized for excellence in reporting on labour migration issues during the first Labour Migration Reporting awards ceremony held on December 18, International Migrants Day. The winners, who won cash prizes of $500 each after a colourful virtual ceremony, are expected to use the grant to contribute to the labour migration discourse through their reporting assignments over the coming year.

The awards were hosted by African Women in Media (AWiM), in partnership with the African Union Commission (AUC), International Labour Organization (ILO) and International Organization for Migration (IOM), under the Joint Labour Migration Programme (JLMP). The final selection was determined after the successful submission of entries, which saw 70 competitive entries from Africa and the diaspora making it into the final stage where the winners eventually emerged.

The winners and their categories are as follows:

  1. Migrants’ Rights – Charhreddine Berriah, Daily El Watan (Algeria)
  2. Remittance and Diaspora Contributions to Development – Abdoulaye Balbone, Burkinabe Daily State Newspaper (Burkina Faso)
  3. Governance of Labour Migration – Wagdy Sawahel, University World News (Africa Edition) (Egypt)
  4. Gender-based Migration – Rekiatu Musa Jingi, Cameroon Radio Television (Cameroon)
  5. Economic Impact of Migration – Abdul Aziz Hali, Mangeons Bien (Tunisia)
  6. Migration and Health – Judy Kabeira, Capital FM (Kenya)
  7. Intra-African Migration – Afeez Hanafi, Punch Newspaper (Nigeria)
  8. Fair recruitment, forced labour and human trafficking of migrant workers – Hoda Zakaria, Alyoum Elsabea Newspaper (Egypt)

“The media is key in influencing a positive perception of migrant workers, fostering dialogue, creating the human rights-based language, the confidence, and promoting migrant workers’ integration and inclusion in societies as in labour markets. This is the reason why our institutions have invited African media professionals to participate in this award”, Dr Gloria Moreno Fontes, Regional Labour Migration and Mobility Specialist for Africa at the ILO, said during the ceremony.

“I would like pass on my heartfelt congratulations to all the nine winners of our awards this year. Labour migration continues to be a major policy issue, which needs to remain on the media agenda. These awards are our way of celebrating and honouring journalists who have shown their commitment to covering labour migration in Africa”, said Dr Yemisi Akinbobola, Co-Founder and CEO of African Women in Media.

Award-winners per category:

Labour Migration Governance

This category was focused on stories that highlight labour migration patterns and the status, challenges and key achievements for migration governance in Africa.

Robert Tachie Menson- 2nd Runner up
Sarah Mawerere- 1st Runner up

Winner: Wagdy Sawahel, Egypt, University World News (Africa edition).

Wagdy Sawahel is based in Egypt and is a correspondent with University World News, reporting on Africa and the Middle East. Wagdy’s entry, titled “COVID-19 drives medical brain drain- is it all bad?” explored the mobility and outward Migration of health workers from Africa to the Western hemisphere. The story won this category due its relevance and timeliness and expert focus on movement of health workers during the COVID-19 era.
Link to entry:

Migrants' rights 

This category was focused on stories that contribute to a better understanding of international human rights of migrant workers and their family members.

Abdel Aziz Hali- 2nd runner up
Olatunji Ololade- 1st runner up

Winner: Chahreddine Berriah, Algeria, Daily El Watan

Chahreddine Berriah is a Journalist working in Algeria with the Daily El Watan. Chahreddine’s submission, titled “Au Niger, sur les traces de Maria”, explored migrants’ rights through the story of a Cameroonian migrant. It won this category because of its timeliness and respect of ethics while covering migrants.
Link to entry:

Intra-African migration 

This category was focused on stories that highlight the trends, variations and drivers of migration within the continent.

Charity Moonga - 2nd runner up
Rebecca Muiruri - 1st runner up

Winner: Afeez Hanafi, Nigeria, Punch Newspaper

Afeez Hanafi is a correspondent with The Punch Newspaper, Nigeria, and whose entry, title “Xenophobia: Our South African classmates bully, tell us to leave their country - Nigerian pupils”, won this category because of its specificity and precision and offered a new angle and perspective of looking at xenophobia issues in South Africa.
Link to entry:

Fair recruitment, forced labour and human trafficking of migrant workers 

This category was focused on stories that highlight recruitment practices and the development, implementation and enforcement of laws and policies that regulate the recruitment industry and protect workers’ rights.

Winner: Hoda Zakaria, Egypt, Alyoum Elsabea Newspaper

Hoda Zakaria is a reporter from Cairo, Egypt, with Alyoum Elsabea Newspaper. Hoda’s investigative story titled, “The inferno of human trafficking", focused on the smuggling of Nigerian women to Europe and the Middle East. The entry was not only relevant and timely, but used data and excellent imagery to expose the crime of human trafficking.
Link to entry:

Economic impact of migration

This category was focused on stories that highlight labour migration and economic development issues in Africa, migration’s impact on employers, and the correlation between migration and industry growth.

Philippine Obeto-Duru - 2nd runner up
Rakiya Muhammad - 1st runner up

Winner: Abdel Aziz Hali, Tunisia, Mangeons Bien

Abdel Aziz is a Tunisian journalist whose entry, titled “Tunisia: Migrants and Syrian Refugees: ‘Our Gastronomy saved us!’”, explored the lives of two migrants who have successfully achieved socio-economic integration through restaurant projects in Tunisia. It won this category because of its creativity and the way it offered a new perspective in the conversation around migrants.
Link to entry:

Remittance and diaspora contributions to development

This category was focused on stories that highlight how the African Diaspora is contributing to the development of their respective countries of origin.

Buba Laura - 2nd runner up
Pascal Niyibikora - 1st runner up

Winner: Abdoulaye Balbone, Burkina Faso, Edition Sidwaya Published in Sidwaya, Burkinabe Daily State Newspaper

Abdoulaye Balbone is a journalist based in Burkina Faso reporting from Edition Sidwaya. Abdoulaye’s entry for this category, titled “Les bonnes œuvres des Burkinabè d’Italie”, won due its expert and professional language, its specificity and precision and its new perspective in talking about issues around remittances and diaspora contributions.

Migration and health

This category was focused on stories that highlight or examine the health risks of migrant workers and the practices on the protection and promotion of their health and safety.

Nodumo Makaza - 2nd runner up
Debra Matabvu - 1st runner up

Winner: Judie Kaberia, Capital FM, Kenya

Judie Kaberia is an award-winning multimedia journalist and media trainer based in Nairobi, Kenya. Her entry titled “Human Trafficking Victims at Risk as COVID-19 ravages the world”, explored the increase of human trafficking cases during the COVID-19 pandemic. The story won this category because it looks at different vulnerabilities linking migration, disability and the health crisis, COVID-19. It centres around people facing homelessness in a foreign country, and was therefore a very relevant and timely story.
Link to entry:

Gender-based migration

This category was focused on stories that highlight how labour migration affects women migrant workers.
Osaruonamen Ibizugbe - 1st Runner up

Winner: Rekiatu Musa Jingi, Cameroon, Cameroon Radio Television (CRTV)

Rekiatu Musa Jingi is a Cameroonian investigative journalist with Cameroon Radio Television, whose entry titled “Migration of Women in Cameroon as a Result of Boko Haram Crisis”, won this category not only because of its highlights of the struggles women are facing as a result of displacement but also showcasing their resilience amidst such suffering.
Link to entry:


The ILO recognizes the quality of the competition entries submitted. However, the responsibility for opinions expressed and names and terms used in the competition entries rests solely with their authors, and reproduction of the entries does not constitute an endorsement by the ILO of the opinions expressed and names and terms used in them.