The International Fund for Public Interest Media (IFPIM) has appointed Makmid Kamara as its inaugural regional director for Africa and the Middle East.
In a statement released on Tuesday, IFPIM described the announcement as a crucial step in advancing its work in the region. “Kamara will guide the International Fund’s strategy and grant-making across Africa and the Middle East,” the organisation said.
He will be working alongside Irene Jay Liu and Vanina Berghella, regional directors for Asia and the Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean, respectively, “in guiding the International Fund’s regional activities and grant-making”.
The Fund was established in May on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of World Press Freedom Day to “foster a paradigm shift in how public interest media is resourced, with the goal of ensuring it is independent, inclusive and resilient”. The Fund’s vision is that people across the world “live in healthy information ecosystems with access to media that upholds the public interest”.
Kamara was previously director of the Africa Transitional Justice Legacy Fund (ATJLF), where he advocated for and facilitated the active involvement of media actors in the promotion of transitional justice across West Africa.
In a 2021 interview, he stressed that media organisations need to step in to make sure more people are aware of initiatives seeking transitional justice for victims and survivors of conflict.
“And when it comes to transitional justice, because of its technical nature, we want people to hear what is happening and how initiatives like the Ataya-based conversation that is happening in The Gambia or the Bantaba conversation promote reconciliation between perpetrators and victims and survivors,” he said.
“Africa is making inroads, Africa is advancing, and some of the efforts of transitional justice mechanisms being implemented in Africa ought to be amplified and adopted in other parts of the world so that we can transmit the good and the better options on transitional justice policy.”
Kamara, who kicked off his career as a journalist in Sierra Leone, has decades of experience in human rights and democracy advocacy, international development, and grantmaking.
Before joining the ATJLF as its first director, he worked in various roles at Amnesty International. He has also worked with Oxfam and Concern Worldwide. He is a Global Atlantic Fellow, an Obama Foundation Leader, and a Rotarian.
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