Betty Abah is a Project Officer and the Gender Focal Person with the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth. She is involved with women in the Niger Delta where’s ERA focuses most of its work centred on environmental justice for the oil rich but grossly degraded Niger Delta region of Nigeria. She is also involved in ERA’s tobacco control campaign and presents “Tobacco and You”, a weekly magazine radio show that airs in four cities across Nigeria (www.tobaccoadnyou.com) and, constantly speaks at enlightenment programs in schools.
Currently, as part of women development efforts, Abah currently coordinates a four-country ‘Gender and Pipelines Project’ (Nigeria, Ghana, Togo and Cameroon) for Friends of the Earth International, Netherlands, and a Gender Mainstreaming and Trajectory Leadership Monitoring project for partners of Oxfam Novib, Netherlands, in Nigeria.
Born on March 6, 1974 in Otukpo Benue State of Nigeria, Abah who is married to John, a sailor. She obtained a degree in English and Literary Studies from the University of Calabar in 1999. While in school, her creative and journalistic instincts were noticeable and she worked in editorial positions in a number of organizations on campus.
Her six-year spell in journalism includes stints with Newswatch and TELL, Nigeria’s flagship news magazine publications. She left TELL in 2007 as a Senior Writer /Health Correspondent.
Her writing and development activities have won her several awards including the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC)’s State Honour’s Award (Ogun State), 2001, the Travel/Tourism Reporter of the Year award by the Nigeria Media Merit Awards, 2003. UNICEF-sponsored “Child Friendly Journalist” by the Diamond Awards for Media Excellence (DAME), 2008.
In 2006, she was awarded the Alfred Friendly Press Fellowships, a six-month reporting fellowship which places young journalists from developing countries in American newsrooms (Abah was one of eight such young journalists from across the world awarded the annual fellowship that year). It saw her reporting at the Rocky Mountain News in Colorado, USA.
In the course of the fellowship, Abah received two other fellowships-the John Knight Health Reporting Fellowship (which saw her undergoing training on health reporting at the Centre for Diseases Control and Prevention, CDC, in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, and the Kaiser Family Foundation Fellowship (which entailed health reporting training at the Canadian Broadcasting Cooperation, CBC, Toronto) and reporting the International AIDS Conference in Toronto, Canada.
In July 2010, Abah was among young tobacco control activists selected from across the world for the Global Tobacco Leadership Training at the Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, USA.
Abah also serves as a judge on the panel of the Young Journalists Award organsised by Media Career Services, and freelances occasionally for Nigerian newspapers as well as helps to train young journalists.
Her dream entails utilizing the media as an effective advocacy tool for women and children’s rights, tobacco control and related developmental efforts.