The Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID) has appointed Akintunde Babatunde as its new Programme Director to oversee all programmatic work at one of the leading not-for-profit organisations in the country.
The appointment is effective from 1 March 2023, said CJID’s executive director, Tobi Oluwatola.
Prior to his new position, Mr Babatunde was the pioneer Deputy Director in charge of CJID’s development programme, where he spearheaded the organisation’s efforts to drive research and policy work across West Africa on six projects, including natural resources and extractives; human development: health, education, and agriculture; conflict and security; climate change, and energy transition.
“Akintunde’s rise in the organisation has been meteoric–a testament to his passion for media development, stellar work ethic, exceptional leadership and charisma,” Mr Oluwatola wrote in a memo to staff, adding that the management was pleased to announce the appointment “after a careful selection process.”
Mr Babatunde joined the CJID in 2017. At various times, he has led a number of the organisation’s flagship projects.
He pioneered Dubawa between 2017-2018, a project that promotes a culture of fact-checking and improving media literacy in West Africa. In that role, he authored dozens of articles, trained over 500 journalists and was nominated for “The African Fact-checker Award of the Year 2018. Between 2018-2019, Mr Babatunde led UDEME and subsequently pioneered the Natural Resources and Extractives Programme (NAREP).
As the programme director, Mr Babatunde will now oversee all of the CJIDs’ programmatic work including Journalism, Accountability, Development, and Dubawa.
“I am excited about the new role,” Mr Babatunde said. “The work we do at CJID is exciting, and I am humbled about the new challenge to help drive our programmes for maximum impact.”
CJID was founded in 2014 to help strengthen West Africa’s journalism sector to promote democratic accountability in the service of inclusive and sustainable development. In 2020, the organisation expanded its footprint beyond Nigeria and moved into specific niches in Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and The Gambia.
The new programme director has authored hundreds of articles on public policy, governance, and fiscal transparency on both local and international media platforms and coordinated ten fellowship programmes and over 30 capacity development programmes and training for over a thousand journalists, researchers, civil society practitioners, and government officials which has produced over 1000 reports; 7 policy briefs published in over 30 news agencies and development platforms in West Africa.
He has made presentations on climate change policy in West Africa at various institutions, including the European Parliament and COP26 New York Times Climate Hub. His broadcast commentary has appeared on BBC, Channels TV, TVC, Silverbird, and NTA, among others.
Mr Babatunde obtained a Master’s degree (with Distinction) in Media Practice for Development and Social Change from the University of Sussex as a British Government Chevening scholar.
He is a member of the International Youth Climate Movement, a UNESCO MIL Ambassador, a 2020 YALI RLC Fellow, a 2020 One Global Activist, a 2021 Climate Reality Leader, and a 2022 Mandela Washington Fellow of the Presidential Precinct.
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