The West Africa Broadcast & Media Academy (WABMA) on Thursday, December 7, 2023, took a significant step forward in its commitment to shaping the future of media professionals with the unveiling of its new Abuja Campus. At the event, which served as a graduation ceremony, the academy named its state-of-the-art media production studio after the distinguished former Director General of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Dr. Ladan Salihu.
The Rector of WABMA, Ike Okere, said the academy is dedicated to preparing the next generation for the rapidly evolving digital media landscape. Mr Okere announced plans for further expansion, with advanced stages for new campuses in Ghana, Senegal, and Cameroon, in addition to the existing ones in Enugu, Lagos, and Abuja. He said such expansion is only possible through partnerships and called on experienced hands and organisations to join WABMA in achieving the vision.
“We call on citizens and organisations to collaborate with WABMA in training a larger number of young Nigerians and Africans in media practice,” Mr Okere, a former director at the FRCN, said, disclosing that the academy has already trained over three thousand individuals across the country and aims to continue expanding its facilities and capacity.
Speaking at the 2023 Long Course graduation ceremony, Dr Ladan Salihu, who is the chair of WABMA’s board, emphasised the crucial role of media in uniting a nation during challenging times. He urged the graduating students to wield their journalistic skills responsibly, holding leaders and citizens accountable for transparency and accountability.
Addressing the graduating students, Mr VinMartin Obiora Ilo, Chief Executive Officer of Signature TV, stressed the significance of continuous learning, hard work, and humility in journalism. He encouraged the graduands to embrace lifelong learning, recognising its role in creating opportunities within the dynamic field of journalism.
In a goodwill message, Mr Odoh Diego Okenyodo, the CEO of Akweya TV Limited, assured WABMA of his organisation’s willingness to train more hands in the areas of development journalism and participatory communication. “We know of the media as the 4th Estate of the Realm, in recognition of their role of holding the three arms of government to account, but flowing from our nearly two decades of practice, we recognise the 5th Estate,” Mr Okenyodo said. “This is the space comprising civil society organisations, trade unions, donor agencies, and multilateral organisations that exert significant influence on societal growth, and we need to communicate that space.”Expressing gratitude, the graduating students pledged to utilise the knowledge acquired at WABMA to make a meaningful impact in society through their newly acquired skills.
Established in November 2020, WABMA stands as a multinational, multi-spectrum, and multi-disciplined training institute. Beyond its physical campuses, WABMA serves as a robust online platform for learning and professional development in broadcasting, journalism, public speaking, and new media, fostering a generation of ethical, professional, and innovative media practitioners.