Twelve emerging photographers selected for World Press Photo Foundation Masterclass West Africa

The World Press Photo Foundation is pleased to announce the 12 talents who will participate in the Masterclass West Africa.

The Masterclass West Africa is the foundation’s third satellite masterclass, and is organized in collaboration with Accra-based Nuku Studio and Noorderlicht Photography from Groningen, the Netherlands.

The Masterclass West Africa will take place in Accra, Ghana, from 8 to 12 March 2017, and will support the most promising young visual journalists in their professional development. The Masterclass West Africa is the third in the World Press Photo Foundation’s series of satellite masterclasses, after previous editions in Mexico and Kenya. The satellite masterclasses are based on the annual Joop Swart Masterclass, which is run annually for the world’s most talented emerging visual journalists, and designed to support and enhance diversity in visual journalism.

All photographers who have worked on visual stories about daily life, nature, politics and society were encouraged to apply for the Masterclass West Africa. In total, 116 portfolios were submitted. The following 12 photographers—4 women and 8 men of 5 different nationalities—were selected by a jury consisting of OFF the wall founder and creative director Anna-Alix Koffi, and representatives of the World Press Photo Foundation and Noorderlicht:

  • Laeïla Adjovi (F, Benin)
  • Apagnawen Annankra (M, Ghana)
  • Ayobami Ogungbe (M, Nigeria)
  • Adrien Bitibaly (M, Burkina Faso)
  • Yagazie Emezi (F, Nigeria)
  • Yannick Folly (M, Benin)
  • Rahima Gambo (F, Nigeria)
  • Eric Gyamfi (M, Ghana)
  • Francis Kokoroko (M, Ghana)
  • Teresa Meka (F, Ghana)
  • Baudouin Mouanda, (M, Republic of the Congo)
  • Tom Saater (M, Nigeria)

Member of the selection committee Anna-Alix Koffi reflected on the entries:

“I have been very pleased to discover the scope of work, the talent, and the undeniable will of the applicants. I am always moved to see the emergence of photographers, to witness their gaze on their environment, especially because it is about Africa. Often the limitations of funding and the difficulties of travelling mean the subjects are close to the photographers' homes, so I hope that this excellent initiative of World Press Photo will continue and will be emulated on the continent as a way to improve on this.”

The World Press Photo Foundation is pleased to welcome the following masters: François-Xavier Gbré (France/Ivory Coast); Malin Fezehai (Eritrea/Sweden); Nii Obodai (Ghana); Nyani Quarmyne (Ghana/Australia); and Whitney Richardson (USA).

The masters were chosen to meet the learning needs of the selected participants. The masterclass curriculum is structured around thematic photo essays that participants are required to work on in advance of the masterclass. The masterclass week also includes lectures by, and individual instruction with, all masters.

Additional activities have been organized during the workshop period, including a forum discussion at Alliance Française Accra on Thursday evening 9 March, entitled “Photography: the crossroads of cultural exchange.” This forum will discuss the opportunities and challenges of cross-institutional cooperation and how photography can be used as a tool to communicate within and between cultures. A portfolio review session is also organized at Nubuke Foundation on Saturday, 11 March, from 10.00 to 16.00, with Noorderlicht’s Marc Prüst, Ghanaian photographer Nana Kofi Acquah, and architect Joe Addo.

Participation in Masterclass West Africa is free for those selected, and all travel and lodging expenses are covered by the World Press Photo Foundation.

For more information about the Masterclass West Africa, please contact Marc Prüst or Juliette Garms.

About the World Press Photo Foundation education programs
The World Press Photo Foundation is committed to education. The future of visual journalism depends on the dedication of new talent. From the annual Joop Swart Masterclass to local workshops, from grants to speaking events, we aim to educate, enable, and connect visual storytellers. For more information on the education programs, please see:

About Noorderlicht
Noorderlicht is a many-faceted and international platform, originally only for documentary photography, but now for any photographer who has a good story to tell. With a sharp eye for new developments, but averse to trends and hype, we devote attention to the photography of the world and to the world of photography. We do this by organising an annual photography festival, programming exhibitions in our photo gallery, organising photographic commissions and arranging discussions, lectures and masterclasses. Noorderlicht provides an educational programme, and also publishes exceptional catalogues and photo books. Our exhibitions tour worldwide, and have been seen in the United States, Syria, Australia, Indonesia and other lands. Noorderlicht is currently producing “Society and Change in Northern Ghana, the photographic perspective’ in close cooperation with Nuku Studio, University of Ghana, University of Development Studies, and University of Leiden. For more information, please visit:

About Nuku Studio
Nuku Studio is a photography enterprise facilitating projects, workshops and partnerships for African photographers. Nuku Studio draws on more than 20 years of experience assisting photographers in turning artistic practice and projects into sustainable business. Based in Ghana, Nuku collaborates with African photographers and international organizations.

Posted February 27 2017

About The World Press Photo Foundation

We are a global platform connecting professionals and audiences through trustworthy visual journalism and storytelling. Founded in 1955 when a group of Dutch photographers organized a contest to share their work with an international audience, the competition has grown into the world’s most prestigious photography award and our mission has expanded. We encourage diverse accounts of the world that present stories with different perspectives. We exhibit those stories to a worldwide audience, educate the profession and the public on their making, and encourage debate on their meaning.

The World Press Photo Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization, based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. We receive support from the Dutch Postcode Lottery and are sponsored worldwide by Canon.