African Investigative Journalism Grants Fund

Full list of 2013 Grantees


Senegal’s secret shame

By Ebrima Sillah, Exclusive to Le Monde diplomatique, 21 October 2013

Senegal Colourful canoes_20090428101238


“I have been married for 13 years now and it’s like I am tied to it, not by love but the fact that my husband did not find me a virgin when he got married to me,” she said. “Walking out of this marriage could bring eternal shame on me and my four children because my husband could tell them why my marriage collapsed. Virginity is a big issue in our tradition.”

The Agony Of Electricity Consumers In Ghana

By Samuel Boadi, published 21 October in Daily Guide Ghana

electricity Ghana

POWER OUTAGES are common occurrences in Ghana and this uncomfortable phenomenon mostly happens unannounced and without recourse to consumers. In fact, there have been instances where consumers have had to stay days and nights without power despite the power rationing schedules published by the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) stating clearly that they were entitled to power supply at those times.

Is Zimbabwe’s micro-finance helping women?

Exclusive by FAIR, published in Le Monde diplomatique, 14 October 2013


BULAWAYO — It’s been a tough life for Charmaine Garise. At 24, she has never had any source of income, but then this no breaking news in a country where labour unions say as many 80% of people find no employment. Garise lives in Plumtree, a small town 100km south-west of Bulawayo on the border with Botswana. Here Zimbabweans in large numbers brave arrests and deportation, illegally crossing into Botswana and South Africa, their El Dorado.

Univers carcéral au Bénin: Enfants de détenues, destin de prisonnier

Par Jean-Claude Dossa, October 2013, Leader Benin

Dossa 1

Dans les prisons du Bénin, une centaine d’enfants de zéro à cinq ans mènent une vie de « prisonniers de fait ». Présents dans l’univers carcéral en raison de la détention de leur mère, ils paient un lourd tribut de leur filiation et assistent impuissants au déni de leur innocence.

Rape in IDPs remain conspiracy in Somalia

By Mahad Omar Diriye, 10 October 2013, published on Truth Meter

IDP camp Somalia

This story aims to promote women’s rights by taking out their voices of pain; showcasing them for better attention so they get their rights as equal citizens in a democratic and peaceful Somalia. To torch those who escape the impunity so that they never do it again to a poor mother or a girl.

A difficult fight against Boko Haram in Nigeria

By Theophilus Abbah, published in The Africa Report (27 Sep)


Boko Haram has proved resilient despite government’s crackdown on the deadly islamist group in the northern parts of Nigeria. But as that country’s government seeks to deal with the terrorism quagmire posed by the group, with their source of funding and logistics support coming under scrutiny, Boko Haram’s demands point to a long battle ahead.

Logging and deforestation: Malawi’s diminishing plantations

By Collins Mtika, published in The Africa Report (18 Sep)


Viphya’s 53-501 hectare man-made plantation, the largest in Southern Africa, began in the 1950s in an attempt to render Malawi self-sufficient in construction timber. It would soon become a major supplier of softwood timber to African nations such as South Africa, Kenya, Mozambique, as well as the Middle East. But that may soon be history. These days, Viphya stands at 10% plantation cover, and dwindling.

Kilifi County locals sell off heritage to survive, drive salt trade

By Dann Okoth, published in The Standard, Kenya (16 Sep)


An environmental degradation and economic disaster is unfolding in Magarini constituency in Kilifi County amidst a thriving salt processing industry. Residents are felling decade-old cashew nut trees and selling them to salt miners as wood fuel to beat grinding poverty. Cashew nut is the main cash crop in most of Kilifi County, while mangoes play a vital economic role in the rather dry region.

Sur les traces des vautours d’organes humains

Par Christophe Assogba, Le Progress, Benin (10 Sep 2013)

benin story clip

[FR] Au Bénin, les organes humains font l’objet d’un trafic et d’un commerce clandestin avec en toile de fond la profanation des tombes, des assassinats inhumains et des disparitions mystérieuses d’âmes. [EN] In Benin, human organs are trafficked by a clandestine trade within the backdrop of the desecration of graves, murders and mysterious disappearances of human souls.

The mountains that are shrinking

By Patrick Mayoyo, published in Daily Monitor, Uganda (22 Aug)


By the 1800s, the glaciers on mountains Kenya, Rwenzori and Kilimanjaro had already started receding. The situation has become worse over the years and threaten the livelihoods of communities around the mountains. Millions of people who depend on mountain climbing tourism in East Africa and investors in the sector are at risk and could lose billions of shillings in revenue due to shrinking glaciers on the region’s leading mountains, studies have revealed.

Mozambique gets millions of dollars of aid money for nothing 

By Estacios Valoi, published by The Africa Report (3 August)


A recent investigation in Mozambique revealed a multi-million development tragedy that could have been averted had the calls from farmers and stakeholders been heeded to. An $18 mllion fund to eradicate the disease served to produce negative results after the United States’ Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) and its Mozambican partner ACIDIVOCA failed to consult with locals who challenged them to get the science right, run the project transparently and review it honestly.

Corruption paid for in lives in Nigeria’s Delta State

By Rosemary Nwaebuni, published in The Africa Report (1 August)


Corruption and apathy among professionals, as well as inadequate supplies, in the public health sector of Nigeria’s Delta State have led to inane service delivery leaving many victims in their wake. Benson Okomika, a commercial motorcycle rider, rushed his wife to hospital when she suddenly went into labour. When it became apparant on arrival that she needed a cesarean section, Okomika expected the treatment to be free, as it was government policy.

Uganda: Nodding syndrome preys on the displaced

By Racheal Ninsiima in Kampala, published in The Africa Report (30 July)


Walter Ojok should be enjoying his life as a young teenage boy with all life’s trials and tribulations. Instead, he lies hapless and nude on a stack of dry reeds, peering at the grass thatched roof of his family’s hut, unable to communicate, always watched over. Ojok has the frame of four year old, and yet he is 14 years old. His body is miserably thin and frail, his back severely hunched and his eyes teary. He should, at 14, be able to construct sentences, but all he is able to say is ‘wota…wota…’ a desperate attempt to say his name.

Rape, Zimbabwe’s silent political weapon

By Stanley Kwenda, published by The Africa Report (29 July)


In 2008, Alice Kasirori* was raped by four men during the violent run-off in the presidential elections. Rape was the price she paid for her husband’s political activism and resulted in the pregnancy of her third child. A mother of three, Kasirori lives in fear that her husband will discover her third child, a son, is not his. “My son is a result of rape. I don’t know his father, because I was raped by four men in one night,” she said tearfully.

Kenya-Tanzania: Trafficking handicapped children and the economy of misery

By Eudias Kigai, published by The Africa Report (29 July)


Trafficking syndicates operating between Kenya and Tanzania are actively involved in the trade of handicapped children. Used in Nairobi’s lucrative ‘begging industry’, Tanzanian children are transported through major bus routes, such as the Tanzania Namanga route, to Kenya’s capital Nairobi. The journey can take up to nine hours. Once inside the borders, bribes must be paid, to Kenyan immigration officers and both Tanzania and Kenya revenue authority officers, to allow them pass without the temporary East African passport.

What if Kenya’s election violence points to corrupt pollsters?

published by FAIR in The Africa Report (22 July)


At camp Chechelesi on the outskirts of Isiolo town, a young female crouched on the bare floor, mourning her unborn baby. The woman, a refugee, lost her baby six months to term. The only comfort her mother – also an Internally Displaced Person (IDP) – could offer, were three painkillers Panadol, which she had struggled to buy, and another two Hedex tablets donated by a neighbor in the nearby tent. “My granddaughter has died,” mourned the tearful mother. “Next it is my daughter.”

Zimbabwe: Bribes, sex and a ballooning electricity debt

By Nhau Mangirazi, published by The Africa Report (17 July)


A number of Zimbabweans owe substantial sums of money for electricity they don’t receive, while others get free electricity thanks to corruption at Zimbabwe’s electricity utility company. Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa), the southern African country’s electricity utility company is owed over $700 million, with domestic users accounting for nearly $261 million of the debt. Some defaulters enjoy free service due to deals organised by corrupt junior workers, asking for bribes to bury active accounts, and officers, demanding sex as payment in kind to desperate defaulting women.

Rwanda: What second life for Kigali’s street vendors? 

By Daniel Nzohabonimana, published by The Africa Report (16 July)


Street vendors are the hallmark of sprawling African cities. In Kigali, Rwanda’s capital, life looks increasingly harsh for street vendors as the authorities seek to expand their tax base, in the face of commercial tax evasion. But who are the real culprits? Since the end of brutal genocide against Tutsi, the city of Kigali has undergone a massive move toward modernisation. Formerly known for its old buildings dating back to the colonial era, Kigali is slowly becoming a new city. In recent times, it has even has been tipped as the Singapore of Africa, a powerful salute to Rwanda’s rising promise.

Zimbabwe’s avoidable food crisis

By FAIR, published on Al Jazeera English (12 July)


Harare, Zimbabwe – Nearly a decade after embarking on a controversial land reform programme, Zimbabwe, once a regional bread basket, is now suffering acute food shortages. In May 2013, its agriculture-based economy imported more than 150,000 metric tonnes of grain from neighbouring Zambia, at a price tag of $25mn. Maize is a staple for Zimbabwe which consumes 2.2 million tonnes annually.

Rhino trafficking: Down the rabbit hole at the Kruger Park

By Fiona Macleod (South Africa) and Estacios Valoi (Mozambique) published in Daily Maverick (8 July)


Rogue South African trophy hunters are directly involved in “a mad scramble” to poach rhinos and get their horns out of the Kruger National Park, according to reliable intelligence sources. The horns are sold illegally, which is facilitated by layers of corruption amongst customs officials and Mozambique’s politicians.

Gay Somali refugees face death threats

By Noor Ali, published by Al Jazeera (7 July)


Gay, lesbian and HIV-infected refugees from Somalia are facing persecution – and even the threat of death – should they return home. Refugees have been under pressure to leave accommodations in Kenya, where many also face racist discrimination, after claims the country is now significantly safer than when Al-Shabaab had control of Mogadishu. But many gay Somalis say returning is not an option for them.

Will the nodding children receive an education?

By Racheal Ninsiima, published by The Observer (25 June) and Africa Report (30 July)


Walter Ojok should be enjoying his life as a school-going teenager and looking forward to becoming a professional, but he is not. Instead, he lies helplessly nude on a stack of dry reeds peering at his siblings and the grass-thatched roof of their hut, deciphering nothing. Ojok cuts a figure of a four-year-old, yet he is 14 years old.

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