The International Organization for Migration is calling on Journalists to enter the inaugural West and Central Africa Migration Journalism Award 2021.

MaM Volunteers participate on a hands-on workshop where they put into practice their skills on video interviewing and learned how to edit videos on smartphones. The four days workshop took place in Tambacounda, Senegal.

Dakar, 15 September 2021: The first edition of the West and Central Africa Migration Journalism Award is now open for entries from journalists who have brought attention to the many facets of migration in West and Central Africa.  

Hosted by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), entries are now open for free from today, 15 September, until 15 October 2021. Entries, in English or French, can be submitted to The Award will recognise eight winners with rewards of up to USD 1,250 each in prize money. The winning Journalists will also receive a plaque of recognition and will be invited to a virtual Award ceremony that will be broadcast on IOM’s social media platforms. The winning submissions may be republished on a media partner’s platform.  

Aimed at fostering quality reporting on migration, the Award is set to recognise outstanding stories from the region that shed light on migration from various perspectives, including safe migration, migration and climate change, and returning migrant reintegration. It will also focus on environmental migration and irregular migration, and work that debunks false and discriminatory narratives about migration and promotes balanced, evidence-based reporting. 

Christopher Gascon, IOM Regional Director for West and Central Africa, said the competition aimed to celebrate journalists who shone a light on migration and its impact. 

MaM content Creation Workshop in Nigeria. Photo: Amanda Nero / IOM 2021

“Migration issues are multidimensional and are often subject to misunderstanding. The support of journalists is the best way to unpack these complexities and give a clear understanding of all sides of the dynamics of migration. Effective reporting on migration ensures that people are presented with a more complete view of these issues which can provide a true understanding. We look to migration stories being reported in a balanced way to help ensure that migrants can make informed decisions and that the public at large receive objective information.” 

Those journalists who can enter the Award should be nationals of 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.   

 The competition is open for journalists who cover migration and irregular migration; alternatives to irregular migration; stories of migrant reintegration; awareness raising about migration and migration in the context of disasters, climate change and environmental degradation.  

MaM Volunteers participate in a hands-on workshop where they put into practice their skills on video interviewing and learned how to edit videos on smartphones. Photo: Amanda Nero /IOM 2021

 The journalistic works entered must have been published on radio or television, or in traditional media or digital platforms, between 1 September 2020, and 31 August 2021. Articles should not exceed 5,000 characters while video or audio/radio reports should not exceed three minutes. Only entries in which the applicant is the primary author or the co-author of the submitted piece will be accepted. 

Requirements for entries include: 

  • Must meet journalistic principles and basic requirements, strictly adhering to professional ethics and standards.   
  • Mustbe an original body of work without alterations.    
  • Must bepreviously published. Submitted entries that have not been previously published will immediately be disqualified without notice.  

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


For more information, terms and conditions, and rules of entry please visit:  

For more information, please contact Alpha Seydi BA from the Regional Communications and Media Unit, at, +221 77 345 74 54. 

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