Child witches and ritual infanticide in Benin, By Gerard Guedegbe
In 2007, the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR) allocated two grants to African investigative journalists to enable them to follow up on an investigative story which would not otherwise see the light of day. John Grobler in Namibia used the money to highlight the callous overexploitation of marine resources by a new elite that behaves pretty much like the old ‘plundering’ colonialists once used to do. Gerard Guédegbé penetrated into the remotest corners of his country, Benin, to find a community that, believing they are witches, ritually kills its handicapped newborns. It is no exaggeration to say that both stories would never have been finalized, let alone published, without the FAIR grants. With lack of editorial support, time and resources for investigative journalism being a worldwide problem for reporters who aim to ‘dig deeper and aim higher’, the obstacles faced by African journalists in this regard are often insurmountable. It is therefore with deep satisfaction that we see that the 2007 FAIR grants have served their purpose.
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