Originally announced at the 2019 Reaching the Last Mile Forum, World NTD Day is an opportunity to translate awareness into action, secure increased resources for NTDs, and facilitate leadership and ownership of NTD programs from the most impacted countries.
Speak Up Africa partners with organisations and individuals from private and public sectors to increase awareness and action for the elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases.
Leading impactful convenings in Francophone African countries, Speak Up Africa is spearheading initiatives with high-level stakeholders, private and civil society organizations, artists and the media, coming together by saying No to NTD.
To mark the fourth annual World NTD Day, held on January 30th, Reaching the Last Mile and Speak Up Africa launched the Youth Leadership Initiative (YLI) and co-hosted the first in a series of youth talks in Kaolack, Senegal.
The Talk brought together young advocates, government leaders, civil society, and private sector representatives to debate how young people can best be engaged in decision-making spaces to help cross the last mile of NTD elimination. Strong recommendations were made to local authorities and policy makers on the need for capacity building of targets and the importance of involving youth in the national effort to eliminate Neglected Tropical Diseases.
Through the Lines of Impact initiative, we collaborated with 8 French and English speaking journalists from West and East Africa to increase quality media production on NTDs and the need to involve youth in ending NTDs. In Kaolack, one of Senegal’s endemic areas for NTDs, we organised a « Media Tour » to enable journalists to interact with affected communities as well as a « Youth Talk » on youth engagement in fighting NTDs. Read more about the journalists of the Lines for Impact initiative:
With a background in communications and international relations, Harouna Drabo is a fact-checking journalist at Fasocheck, an editorial initiative dedicated to the practice and promotion of fact-checking in Burkina Faso. His passion for blogging earned him the title of best blogger in Burkina Faso in 2019 for his publications on water and sanitation issues. Focusing on public development policies and accountability issues, Harouna Drabo has been an independent contributor to the treatment of socio-political news from Burkina and the sub-region for various media outlets since 2015.
Mamadou Traoré is a science journalist based in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. He is particularly interested in science-related topics including education, health, agriculture and environment/sustainable development. He has been Editor-in-Chief of Agence Ivoirienne de Presse (AIP) since 2014.
Since 2017, Mr Traoré is the president of « Media for Science and Development », the first association of science journalists in Côte d’Ivoire. Winner of the Ebony Special Prize for the Best Press Agency Journalist in Côte d’Ivoire in 2019, he is a graduate of the English and Communication departments of the Félix Houphouët-Boigny University in Abidjan, as well as of the Institute of Communication Sciences and Techniques (ISTC-Polytechnique) in Abidjan.
Traoré Mamadou is also a consultant-trainer and a journalist who is very committed to the popularisation of science through the media. In his career, he has covered several major events in Côte d’Ivoire and around the world.
Zadok Kwame Gyesi is an award-winning Ghanaian multimedia journalist with the state-owned Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL), Ghana’s biggest print media—Daily Graphic, with considerable online presence at www.graphic.com.gh. He has gathered experiences in broadcast, print and digital journalism, spanning close to 10 years. His work focuses on health, agriculture, fisheries, environment, migration, human rights, education, gender and governance. He has background also in education, obtaining a Master of Education in English degree from the University of Education, Winneba, Ghana. He is a proud product of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) and the University of Cape Coast (UCC).
Jessica Ahedor is a freelance science/health Journalistin Ghana. She worked for First Digital TV/ GNTV as a health reporter, Lead News Anchor, Producer,and Programme Host for 6 years. In 2019, Jessica corresponded for West Africa Democracy Radio- Dakar Senegal, she is the Gender and Health correspondent, Pan African Vision–Washington DC, Scientific African Magazine–Rwanda and aco-founder of Science Journalism Ghana. Jessica also reported from the African continent and abroad – Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Togo, Gambia, Ethiopia, Canada, and the UK on myriad of health and environment issues. In 2020 she was selected fellow as part of CAPOOP Media Fellowship Program by Speak Up Africa to increase volume and the quality of WASH coverage in Africa.
Maimouna Bangoura is a Guinean journalist, she started as a technician reporter for Continental FM radio in 2008. She then became a journalist host at Groupe Evasion Guinea in 2011. In 2016, she won the Award of the best health magazine CFI. In 2018 she founded the laguinéenne.info news site.
Youssouf Sériba has a degree in Communication and is a journalist based in Niger. Following his experiences at the national television station Rtn, he discovered a vocation for print media. He has worked in the main newsrooms in Niamey (L’Évènement Niger, l’Éclosion, Niamey and Les 2 jours), and is currently a reporter for the daily newspaper L’Enquêteur and Director of Publication of the online newspaper and Web Tv Les Echos du Niger (www.lesechosduniger.com). Sensitive to development issues, particularly women’s political participation, he is the winner of the National Prize for Gender Sensitive Journalism in 2020. He also won the National Prize for Best Journalistic Works in the print and online category in 2021 in Niger.
Bukola Afeni is an award winning development Journalist and Communication expert based in Nigeria. She reports on health, education, climate and gender issues in Nigeria and Sub Saharan African. Bukola has written in SciDev.net, ICIR, Africasti, Newsbar online, and national dailies such as Pilot and Leadership newspapers. She was a 2017 ICFJ Migration and Climate Change Fellow, and holds a Master’s degree in Development Communications from Nasarawa State University in Keffi, Nigeria, cum a Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism from the International Institute of Journalism Abuja. Bukola has vast experience in communications and journalism in TV, radio, and online media.
Abdullahi Tsanni is a science journalist based in Abuja, Nigeria. He has reported on science, health, agriculture, and biotechnology issues in Nigeria for publications including Nature, AllAfrica, Cornell Alliance for Science,Nigeria Health Watch, and African Newspage. Abdullahi has interviewed top scientists across sub-Saharan Africa, detailing stories about their research, workspace, and scientific enterpriseon the continent. His story on how rancorous debates about genetically modified organisms affect public sentiments in Nigeria won the 2019 Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa Science Media Award in the print/online category. He works as a volunteer with Science Communication Hub Nigeria and African Science Literacy Network, helping with communications and providing input on media partnerships. He has a degree in biochemistry and is a prospective master’s student in science communication at Imperial College London.
Stephen Kafeero is a Ugandan investigative journalist. He has been practising since 2010 contributing to various publications including the Daily Monitor newspaper, MSN, Quartz, AllAfrica, The East African, The Citizen (Tanzania), NTV-Uganda and The New Frame. In 2021, he was awarded an Open Society Foundation Fellowship in Investigative Journalism at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, where he completed a Masters in Journalism and Media Studies. Stephen is also a member of the editorial board of the ZAM Kleptocracy project.
Viviane Diatta is Health journalist at L’Info, a privately owned newspaper she joined in August 2022. She works at the Eco-social Desk, which deals with economic, educational, environmental, health and social issues. She is a member and Logistics officer of AJSPD (Association of Journalists on Health, Population and Development), which was created in 2009. She holds a master’s degree in journalism and communication and is a member of the Media Association on Tobacco Control in West and Central Africa.
Yandé Diop is a journalist with a master’s degree injournalism and communications, and a member of the association of journalists in health, population and development (AJSPD). Yandé Diop was born in Kaolack, Senegal, where she completed her primary andsecondary education. She has worked in the media since completing her journalism studies in 2010. She made her debut in the written press, with Senegalese media group Walfadjri, before joining the Promo consulting group, which runs the «Rewmi» newspaper and radio station, for four years, and then the «Libération» daily newspaper, where she spent the majority of her career in the media sphere. She recently embarked on a career in the online press as Editor in Chief of the Thieydakar.net general news website and promotor of the Sante221.com site, focusing on health issues in Senegal.
Adjovi Nadia Edodji est née au Togo en 1995. Après l’obtention de sa licence en Sociologie à l’Université de Lomé, elle s’est formée sur le tas en journalisme. Depuis 2018, elle est rédactrice dans un quotidien privé à Lomé.
The « Media Tour », a flagship component of the Lines of Impact initiative, offers journalists a tangible experience to interact with communities affected by health issues as well as actors involved in the response, research, and implementation of innovative solutions.
On the 2023 World NTDs Day, journalists from national and international media including RFI, West Africa Democracy Radio, Le Soleil, Vibes Radio Senegal, were invited to Kaolack, an endemic region for NTDs in Senegal.
In partnership with journalists across the continent, we are working to increase the quantity and quality of reporting on the issues we care about: neglected tropical diseases, malaria, immunisation, gender equality, research and development and sanitation.
Through this initiative, we are ensuring that these issues and their solutions are at the heart of media conversations.
By ensuring a steady stream of media coverage, the initiative raises awareness among the general public and our decision makers and amplifies the voices of those affected or marginalised across the continent.
To mark World NTD Day in 2021, and in close collaboration with NTD Programs throughout West Africa, The Monument de la Renaissance in Sénégal, Place de la Concertation in Niger, Monument du 22 Novembre in Guinea and the Etoile Rouge in Benin were part of a worldwide campaign, where more than 60 monuments in 40 cities and 24 countries were highlighted in Orange and Purple in a worldwide demonstration of unity in the fight against NTDs.
In Senegal, Speak Up Africa teamed up with creative agency Yard, RBS Crew, the Basketball African League, Ecobank Foundation, Special Olympics and Sarah Diouf, Creative Director and Founder of Tongoro to create a fresco on a basketball court in Ouakam, at the foot of the Monument de la Renaissance, highlighting the neglect in neglected tropical diseases, and bringing attention to these devastating diseases.