The New York Times is sending its bureau chief for West and Central Africa, Adam Nossiter, to the Paris bureau. Nossiter, who has been based in Dakar, Senegal, since 2009, is heading to France soon. His replacement in Dakar has not been announced.
West and Central Africa play a major role in the field operations of the United Nations through its peacekeeping and peace-building enterprises as well as humanitarian, human-rights and counterterrorism activities in the region, all demanding a lot of attention from the Security Council.
Nossiter, 54, arrived new to Africa when he took the Dakar post, having been based previously in New Orleans as a national correspondent for the paper. Once in Dakar, he began reporting on national stories as he gradually moved into regional territory in his beat of 25 countries, starting with an article describing Gambia’s erratic leader, Yahya Jammeh, then launching into the drug trafficking channels plaguing Guinea-Bissau, and in 2012, covering the big story that year: the coup in Mali and the deadly insurgency spawned from that chaos.
That story competed in scale and impact most recently in 2014 and this year with the arrival of Ebola in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, casting its net across those countries and killing about 10,600 people, according to the latest statistics from the World Health Organization.
Nossiter’s moving report of a “hospital from hell” in Sierra Leone, as the headline put it, at the height of the scourge dropped readers straight into the hospital ward, describing barely alive and dead patients sprawled on floors in their bodily fluids. He and a team of other journalists from The Times just received a 2014 George Polk Award for Health Reporting for their coverage of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
The region has uncharacteristically hit a calm stretch as the Ebola crisis has waned and as numerous presidential elections occur in the fall, including those in Guinea and in Ivory Coast. Africa’s most populous nation, Nigeria, conducted presidential elections in March, deemed democratically sound and nearly violent-free amid a regional fight against the Boko Haram terrorist group that is still unfinished.
[This article was updated on April 21, 2015]