ADEA’s Africa Education Journalism Award was created in 2001. It bears the name of its founder Akintola Fatoyinbo, an African specialist in communication dedicated to promoting communication for development. Mr Fatoyinbo was also the first coordinator of ADEA's Working Group on Communication for Education and Development (WGCOMED).

Since the creation of the Award, five competitions have been organized and 22 journalists honored.

Initially offered for African press articles in French and English, it was extended to include Portuguese in 2005.

Articles are selected by a jury made up of experienced, active journalists and education specialists.

The prize was organized annually until 2004, and thereafter coincided with the organization of ADEA Biennales, which were held every two years until 2008. The sixth competition for the Award will coincide with the first ADEA Triennale, to be held in 2011, during which the award presentation ceremony will be held and the 10th anniversary of the Award celebrated. 

Akintola Fatoyinbo


  Akintola Fatoyinbo

Akintola Fatoyinbo was born on February 12, 1943, in Llesa, in western Nigeria.

After studying journalism in Germany, he worked for the Africa service of the radio station Deutsche Welle, and subsequently in the field of media and communication with several international organizations, including the WHO in Ouagadougou, the agency InterPress Third World (IPS), as regional director for Africa, and for the World Bank, where he spent the bulk of his career, and where he worked to promote African media and to manage the communication of development programs.

In this context, he participated in the creation of the West African press agency development project, launched by UNESCO and financed by Germany. Seconded from the World Bank, Akin became the chief technical advisor of the project and established himself in Cotonou (Benin), where the WANAD (as the project came to be known) trained more than 1,000  journalists, technicians and managers. In 1995, the project became an international NGO, the WANAD Center, and Akin was elected its secretary-general. He combined this post with his career as a communication specialist at the World Bank.

Convinced that education was the key to Africa’s development and that communication was a crucial vehicle for promoting education, Akin devoted a great deal of time and energy to defending this idea, and his efforts led, in 1998, to ADEA’s program on Communication for Education and Development (COMED).

Akin felt that African journalists, in order to lead this project, should specialize in education and that, for this to happen, they needed to be provided with adequate training. He was also perfectly aware of the need to improve communication within African ministries of education and between these ministries and the media. This vision led to the creation of the ADEA Working Group on Communication for Education and Development (WGCOMED) in 2002. The main purpose of WGCOMED is to foster the professional development and expertise of journalists and communication officers in the education field.

This was also the origin of the Africa Education Journalism Award, created to encourage Africa journalists and press organizations to strive for quality reporting on education in Africa.

After the sudden death of Akin in December 2002 in Dar-es-Salaam (Tanzania), ADEA decided to dedicate the Award to him, renaming it the Akintola Fatoyinbo Africa Education Journalism Award, to pay homage to a man of broad vision, whose fervent struggle for the professional development, specialization and excellence of African media came to be shared by all who knew him.

Alfred Opubor
Alfred Opubor succeeded Akintola Fatoyinbo as coordinator of the WGCOMED from 2003 to 2005.
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