SULEMANA BRAIMAH is the Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA). He joined the MFWA as a programme officer in 2010, and became the Deputy Executive Director of the organisation in August 2012, a position he held until his appointment as the Executive Director in January 2014. He is also the current Secretary General of the ECOWAS Civil Society Platform on Transparency and Accountability in Governance (ECSOPTAG) and a member of the Executive Committee of the West Africa Civil Society Forum (WACSOF). From 2011 to 2015 he served on the 13-member Governing Council of IFEX, the global network of free expression organisations based in Toronto, Canada. He is also a member of the Steering Committee of the African Network of Free Expression organisations (AFEX). Sulemana previously worked for five years (2002 – 2007) with The Chronicle newspaper as a reporter and later became the paper’s News Editor. In 2009, while studying at the University of Manitoba, Canada, he was a contributing writer on media and communications issues suite101.com. He has been a reviewer of the annual global press freedom ratings (Freedom of the Press Index) by the US-based Freedom House Inc. He has participated in and presented papers on media rights and freedom of expression issues at various national, regional and international conferences. Sulemana holds an M.Phil in Communication Studies and a Bachelor’s Degree (Sociology with Philosophy – First Class Hons) from the University of Ghana.
OLAF STEENFADT heads the "Media Ownership Monitor" project and the "Journalism Trust Initiative" at the press freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders, RSF. For many years, he has been engaged as a consultant and coach in media development cooperation. Mandates of international organizations and NGOs lead him primarily to Southeast Europe and the Arab world. He previously worked for national German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF in various roles, including as a radio and TV presenter, investigative reporter, domestic and foreign correspondent, as well as in format development and corporate communication. Olaf is a member of the "High-level Expert Group on Fake News and Online Disinformation" of the European Commission and of the "Committee of Experts on Quality of Journalism in the Digital Age" at the Council of Europe. He teaches frequently at universities in Germany and Europe.
PHILIP ACQUAYE works as a Programme Officer with the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) and a Lead Researcher on the Media Ownership Monitor project in Ghana. Previously, he has worked as a Journalist, an Editor and a University Lecturer. In 2016, he supported the successful implementation of one of MFWA’s influential research activities, the Language Monitoring on Radio during the 2016 General Elections. He has also supported the implementation of key projects under the MFWA’s Media, Good Governance and Development Programme. Philip’s area of study include Mass Communication, Journalism, Marketing and Philosophy.
LISA-MARIA KRETSCHMER works as Head of Research and project coordinator for the global Media Ownership Monitor. As a project manager, she is also responsible for the project implementation of MOM Ghana. Previously, she has worked in the field of human rights and resilience, amongst others for the German Development Agency (giz) and a Member of the German Parliament. In 2011, she supported an international research project on the role of media in conflict at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich. This experience now contributes to her work for MOM as much as her previous positions in communications departments & agencies (profit & non-profit) for creating public awareness for human rights concerns. She studied political communication, journalism and economics in Germany (LMU Munich, FU Berlin), The Netherlands, Denmark and Israel.
PRISCILLA DOWUONA works with the Media Foundation for West Africa and is working as an Assistant Researcher on the 'Media Ownership Monitor' Project in Ghana. Previously, she has worked in the area of development communication. In 2016, she supported the successful implementation of one of MFWA's successful research activities, the Language Monitoring in Newspapers during the 2016 general elections. Priscilla's area of study includes Journalism and Mass Communication, Development Communication, English and History.
MAREK JESSEN works as an intern for the Media Ownership Monitor project. He studies Political Science at the Philipps-University in Marburg with focus on European Integration and International Relations. He gained his first experience in press and public relations while he was an intern at the German Office of IPPNW (International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear Wars). Besides this he participated in two research projects at his university and he spent an academic year at the Masaryk University in Brno (Czech Republic).
Media Foundation For West Africa (MFWA)
The MFWA is a regional independent non-governmental organization. It is the biggest and most influential media development and freedom of expression advocacy organisation in West Africa with national partner organisations in all 16 countries of the region. The MFWA is also the Secretariat of the Continental Network of the most Prominent Free Expression and Media Development Organisations in Africa, known at the Africa Freedom of Expression Exchange (AFEX) Network. In the last 18 years, the MFWA and its partners have successfully promoted freedom of expression rights, media professionalism, and media-led advocacy for peace building, and participatory governance across West Africa. MFWA’s mission is to promote and defend the right to freedom of expression of all persons particularly the media and human rights defenders in West Africa. It envisions a West Africa in which all persons enjoy the right to freedom of expression without fear or threat by any actors.
Reporters Without Borders
Reporters Without Borders (Reporter Sans Frontières, RSF) was founded in Montpellier (France) in 1985 by four journalists. It is is registered in France as a non-profit organization and has consultant status at the United Nations and UNESCO. RSF advocates for media freedom, supports independent media and protects endangered journalists worldwide. Its missions are
- To continuously monitor attacks on freedom of information worldwide;
- To denounce any such attacks in the media;
- To act in cooperation with governments to fight censorship and laws aimed at restricting freedom of information;
- To morally and financially assist persecuted journalists, as well as their families.
- To offer material assistance to war correspondents in order to enhance their safety.
Since 1994, the German section is active in Berlin. Although the German section works closely with the International Secretariat in Paris to research and evaluate media freedom worldwide, it is organizationally and financially independent. In that role, it has applied for a grant at the federal German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development – in order to finance the Media Ownership Monitor project.