Ofeibea Quist-Arcton is an award-winning broadcaster from Ghana and is NPR's Africa Correspondent. She describes herself as a "jobbing journalist"—who's often on the hoof, reporting from somewhere.
She spent her early years in Ghana, Italy, Britain, and Kenya, and has lived and worked in Europe, the US, and all over Africa—most recently based in Senegal, traveling across the continent as a journalist, commentator, host, and media trainer.
After completing high school in Britain, she earned a degree in French studies with international relations and Spanish at the London School of Economics (LSE) and studied broadcast journalism at the University of Westminster, London.
Quist-Arcton joined the BBC reporter reserve in 1985, working at regional radio stations all over Britain, moving two years later to the renowned BBC World Service at Bush House in London. There, she served as a producer, reporter, editor, and host in the African Service. She traveled and reported across the continent.
She spent the year leading up to 1990 in Paris, on a BBC journalist exchange with Radio France International (RFI), mainly working with RFI's English (for Africa) Service as a host, reporter, and editor and in Monito, providing programs and content in French for radio stations in francophone Africa.
In 1990, Quist-Arcton won one of the BBC's coveted foreign correspondents' posts, moving to Abidjan, the commercial hub of Ivory Coast, to head the corporation's West Africa bureau. From there, she covered 24 countries, straddling the Sahara to the heart of the continent—crisscrossing Africa from Mauritania, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Mali, to then Zaire (Democratic Republic of the Congo) and Congo-Brazzaville, via Chad, Equatorial Guinea, and Cameroon. She contributed to BBC outlets, covering the flowering of democracy in the region, as well as the outbreak of civil wars, revolutions and coups, while always keeping an eye on the "other" stories about Africa that receive minimal media attention—including the continent's rich cultural heritage. Quist-Arcton also contributed to NPR programs during her reporting assignment in west and central Africa.
After four years as the BBC's West Africa correspondent, she returned to Bush House in 1994 as a host and senior producer on the flagship World Service programs, Newshour & Newsday, and as a contributing regional specialist for other broadcast outputs including BBC Africa.
Quist-Arcton laced up her traveling shoes again in 1995 and relocated to Boston as a roving reporter for The World, a co-production between the BBC, Public Radio International (PRI), and WGBH. She lived in Cambridge and enjoyed getting to know Massachusetts and the rest of New England, learning a new language during winter (most of it related to snow).
For The World, she traveled around the United States, providing the program with an African journalist's perspective on North American life. In 1997, she spent six months as a roving Africa reporter for The World, covering—among other events—the fall of President Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire.
In 1998, after a stint back at BBC World Service, Quist-Arcton was appointed co-host of another BBC co-production—this time in Johannesburg, with the South African Broadcasting Corporation on the flagship radio drive-time show, PM Live.
In 2000, she left the BBC to join allAfrica.com (allAfricaGlobal Media) as Africa Correspondent and Bureau Chief, covering the continent's top stories, in all domains, and developing new radio shows for webcast and syndication to radio stations around the continent.
After six years in South Africa, Quist-Arcton joined NPR in 2004 heading the network's second Africa-based bureau and moving back to her home region of West Africa, this time to Senegal.
Quist-Arcton has spent the past 15 years reporting on the continent for NPR, covering a wealth of stories from the last years and funeral of Nelson Mandela and the funeral of his former wife, Winnie Madikizela Mandela, to the outbreak of Ebola in three West African nations and floating along the Congo River. She has received awards along the way including a Peabody and an Edward R. Murrow.
Quist-Arcton says sharing Africa's stories—good, great, creative, inspiring, humorous, bad, and ugly—is a privilege and an honor from a continent and peoples she admires and who have much to offer the world.
She also loves to engage with NPR's audience, especially youth and women, about Africa and how rich and varied the continent is.
Her passions are story-telling, African art, craft, culture, traditions, music, literature, open-air markets, antiques, and learning about the cultures and languages of the world. Quist-Arcton enjoys traveling (though not airports!) and meeting new people and renewing established acquaintances, while making fresh discoveries and delving into adventures. She also enjoys cycling, swimming, and photography.
Nigerian Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram claimed credit for abducting more than 200 schoolgirls. The girls remain missing, and parents are pressing the government to find and bring them home.
Activists and parents demonstrated in the Nigerian capital, hoping to force the government to do more to rescue nearly 200 abducted teen girls, who have been missing for over two weeks. There is still little reliable information about the situation.
More than 200 schoolgirls were taken from a remote town, horrifying the country. The government has been blamed for an inadequate response to the kidnapping, and to extremism in general.
According to the Nigerian military, all but eight of the girls kidnapped from a Nigerian boarding school have been rescued. As many as 100 girls had been abducted by militants earlier in the week.
A recent outbreak of Ebola in Guinea has the country on edge. Guineans have never experienced the deadly virus, and are learning quickly how to protect themselves.
The stricken are most likely to die within 10 days. But those whose bodies produce antibodies may survive — and be sent home with a clean bill of health. That's happening now in Guinea.
They have recovered from the deadly virus that is ravaging Guinea. They feel blessed by their good fortune. But family and friends are often afraid to welcome them back with open arms.
In Guinea, an aggressive strain of the virus has claimed over 100 lives and invaded the capital city. But while it may take months to contain the outbreak, there already are survivors.
Health workers in the West African nation of Guinea are working to control an outbreak of the Ebola virus. The disease has sickened 86 people and killed 59, according to the World Health Organization.
Human Rights Watch is urging Senegal to implement a law criminalizing forced begging. People acting as Islamic teachers have been exploiting thousands of young boys.