With the number of people on the planet now at 7 billion, high population growth is clearly one of the key factors contributing to economic, environmental, social, and political strain, especially in the developing world.

According to the World Health Organization, more than 200 million women lack access to effective contraceptives, and fertility rates for most of Africa are double the rate of the world as a whole. Each year in sub-Saharan Africa there are 14 million unintended pregnancies, posing major health risks to women and their children, including death from complications during childbirth.

This project partners four African journalists with two US-based journalists to produce a body of reporting on reproductive health that will be distributed in African and international outlets. The goal is to improve the quality of the reporting on reproductive health issues and bring the voices of African journalists to an international audience.

Journalists Mae Azango of Liberia, Estelle Ellis of South Africa, Sam Olukoya of Nigeria and Ken Opala of Kenya, will work together with Christian Science Monitor correspondent Jina Moore and Pulitzer Center visual media coordinator Jake Naughton to produce reports on topics ranging from child brides in Nigeria to family planning in the refugee camps of Kenya.

The Pulitzer Center launched the project at the International Family Planning Conference (ICFP) in Dakar, Senegal (Nov. 28-Dec. 2 ,2011) bringing together the African journalists with Naughton and Moore, as well as Pulitzer Center managing director Nathalie Applewhite, and New Yorker editorial staffer Alexis Okeowo for a series of workshops, and the opportunity to connect directly with leading experts in the field. More than two thousand reproductive health professionals and over a hundred journalists from around the world participated in the conference.

Field reporting began in March 2012.

Participation in the ICFP conference was made possible thanks to support from Population Services International (PSI) and the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF).

Jina Moore's picture
Jina Moore is an award-winning journalist who specializes in post-conflict and human rights reporting. Her past Pulitzer Center projects include a multi-country collaboration with African and...
Jake Naughton's picture
Jake Naughton is a journalist working frequently on stories about LGBT and immigration issues and especially areas where they intersect. He is a regular contributor to The New York Times,...
Alexis Okeowo's picture
Alexis Okeowo joined The New Yorker as a staff writer in 2015. She is also a fellow at the New America Foundation. She contributes to magazines Bloomberg Businessweek and the ...
Nathalie Applewhite's picture
Pulitzer Center staff
Nathalie joined the Pulitzer Center in 2006, shortly after its founding, and has played a key role in the development of the Center's model and approach towards journalism initiatives and...
Mae Azango's picture
Mae Azango is a journalist in Liberia, covering women and children as well as development issues for FrontPageAfrica and New Narratives. She has contributed reports to The...
Estelle Ellis's picture
Estelle Ellis is an accomplished investigative journalist who holds degrees in law and journalism. She has worked at various South African daily newspapers and has been published in several British...
Ken Opala's picture
Ken Opala is the founding director of the African Investigative News Service, a news syndicate specializing in development journalism driven by investigative reporting. He is a founding board member...
Sam Olukoya's picture
Sam Olukoya is a journalist based in Lagos, Nigeria. He was a former associate editor of Newswatch, a prominent Nigerian newsmagazine. Since leaving the magazine in 1999, he has widely...

The Promise of Life: Reproductive Choice in Africa