The AIPC Transnational Investigation Team “Helping the rich get richer” 2017

CAMEROON

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and former editor-in-chief of the Weekly Post newspaper. He also writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations, of which “Killing Soccer in Africa,” www.theguardian.com/football/2010/oct/24/football-corruption-cameroon-nigeria-ivory-coast, “The Demonic Universe” www.zammagazine.com/chronicle/chronicle-23/314-the-demonic-universe and “the Fair Trade Chocolate Rip-Off” https://fairreporters.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/the-fairtrade-chocolate-ripoff-investigation-20122.pdf made headlines in Africa and Europe. The Fair Trade investigation was nominated for the prestigious Dutch ‘De Tegel’ award. Chief’s  work on FIFA soccer corruption in Africa was presented at the Global Investigative Journalism Conference in Kiev in 2013. http://data.kaasogmulvad.dk/unv/kiev/THE%20KILLING%20SOCCER%20STOR12.doc. Chief is called Chief because he is also a traditional leader in his region in southern Cameroon.

IVORY COAST

Selay Kouassi, a grandson of cocoa farmers, initiated the award-nominated transnational investigation into ‘Fair-Trade’ chocolate. In the course of the investigation, for which he and three West African colleagues, among whom Chief Bisong Etahoben, interviewed workers at a total of seventy cocoa farms in the region, he was threatened by individuals connected with ‘Fair-Trade’ cooperatives and others in the West African cocoa mafia. In his long career he has also investigated water supply performance by West African governments http://pulitzercenter.org/reporting/ivory-coast-water-election-violence-conflict-teapleu-ethnicity-conflict-reconciliation and the reasons behind and consequences of the civil war in his country, Ivory Coast www.theguardian.com/world/2011/apr/03/ivory-coast-eyewitness-abidjan-starvation. He has done reports for Radio Netherlands Worldwide, BBC and DPA. His work on Fair Trade has also been reported in the Netherlands www.oneworld.nl/magazinearticle/hoe-fair-fair-trade and on the ‘Africa is a country’ blog http://africasacountry.com/2012/12/the-fairtrade-facade.

DRC

Eric Mwamba has won international acclaim for, among other stories, his reports on the Ivorian government cocoa mafia; the international trade in young African football players and his deep-digging exposure of the system of corruption that reigns in the DRC. Mwamba's work has been published in the DRC, Belgium, www.mo.be/en/article/getting-rich-poverty-stricken-congo and the Netherlands https://www.oneworld.nl/achtergrond/machinegeweren-de-mist/ and was quoted by Foreign Affairs in the United States www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/africa/2015-03-05/virungas-white-savior-complex. He visited the Netherlands in 2013 to research the old Dutch tradition of Sinterklaas and his helper 'Black Pete' and concluded that ‘Pete’ is a childish figure that really should not serve as a representation of back people www.zammagazine.com/chronicle/chronicle-4/41-the-dutch-black-piet-debate.

Francis Mbala is a reporter for Radio/TV 13 in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. He forms part of the Wealth Magazine team set up by his veteran investigative colleague Eric Mwamba in the DRC. He has had to change jobs twice after angering local tycoons and was arrested during a 2016 transnational investigation into malaria programmes www.zammagazine.com/chronicle/chronicle-18/312-feeding-the-parasites for ‘spying’ in a Kinshasa clinic, at which occasion the clinic’s deputy medical director uttered the words ‘What do you want to inform the public about malaria for?” He was freed after diplomatic pressure and his case was recorded by the Global Investigative Journalism Network here: http://gijn.org/2015/08/24/reporters-journal-a-malaria-arrest/. The malaria investigation, done in cooperation with Dutch reporter Janneke Donkerlo and Ghanaian colleague Ohemeng Tawiah, was also published by Vrij Nederland in the Netherlands www.vn.nl/auteur/janneke-donkerlo/.

KENYA

Ken Opala founded Kenya’s African Investigative News Service and was a founder member of the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He has won numerous awards over his decades long career, including the Natali Lorenzo Prize in Human Rights Journalism, the Peter Jenkins Award for Conservation Journalism (East Africa), CNN's African Journalist of the Year, the Kenya Print Journalism Award and others. He participated in the FAIR transnational investigation into human trafficking “The Quest for Eldorado” and worked with Peter Gastrow of the Institute for Security Studies to produce an overview of organized crime and state erosion in Kenya.
http://www.academia.edu/1556631/Termites_at_Work_Transnational_Organised_Crime_and_State_Erosion_in_Kenya. He now writes for the Nairobi Law Monthly http://nairobilawmonthly.com/.

UGANDA

Benon Herbert Oluka is editor of The Observer newspaper in Uganda and a co-founder of The Watchdog, a centre for investigative journalism at The Observer. He has undertaken a series of investigative reporting projects, including a transnational investigation into good civil servants operating in corrupt systems called “The Good Civil Servants,” which was published in Uganda, South Africa, the Netherlands and Spain. He won Ugandan, East African, and pan-African media awards for his investigative reporting. See: www.zammagazine.com/chronicle/chronicle-21/313-the-good-civil-servants ; https://decorrespondent.nl/5032/gezocht-integere-ambtenaar-in-een-corrupt-systeem-v-m/627272167192-3cfa864b and http://city-press.news24.com/News/the-good-civil-servants-20160416.

The AIPC

The African Investigative Publishing Collective (www.investigativecollective.com/) is ZAM’s partner in African investigative journalism. The Collective got together in 2015 as a group of former FAIR members with a mission to have their stories published internationally, because “our leaders listen more when our stories are published in the West.” AIPC members’ investigations that have thus far generated international headlines, other than the ones mentioned above, are Anas Aremeyaw Anas’ exposes on corruption in Ghana (Al Jazeera, Channel Four, BBC); Estacio Valoi’s work on the ruby plunder of Montepuez (Foreign Policy, Sept.Info, Al Jazeera); Kassim Mohamed’s documentaries for Africa Uncensored in cooperation with Al Jazeera; Selase Kove-Seyram’s work on overfishing with Ian Urbina (www.zammagazine.com/chronicle/chronicle-15/250-chasing-thunder; www.nytimes.com/2015/07/28/world/a-renegade-trawler-hunted-for-10000-miles-by-vigilantes.html?_r=0 for the New York Times and most recently Maxime Domegni, Lawrence Seretse’s and Estacio Valoi’s cooperation with the African leg of the Panama Papers.