Ofeibea Quist-Arcton

Ofeibea Quist-Arcton is a journalist and broadcaster from Ghana who reports for NPR News on issues and developments related to West Africa. She spent her early years in Ghana, Italy, Britain and Kenya.

Quist-Arcton has lived and worked in the U.K., France, Ivory Coast, U.S., South Africa and most recently Senegal, traveling all over Africa as a journalist, broadcaster, commentator and host.

After completing high school in Britain, she took a degree in French studies with international relations and Spanish at the London School of Economics (LSE) and went on to study radio journalism at the Polytechnic of Central London, with two internships at the BBC.

Quist-Arcton joined the BBC in 1985, working at a number of regional radio stations all over Britain, moving two years later to the renowned BBC World Service at Bush House in London, as a producer and host in the African Service. She traveled and reported throughout Africa.

She spent the year leading up to 1990 in Paris, on a BBC journalist exchange with Radio France International (RFI), working in "Monito" — a service supplying reports and interviews about Africa to African radio stations, and with RFI's English (for Africa) Service as a host, reporter and editor.

Later in 1990, Quist-Arcton won one of the BBC's coveted foreign correspondents posts, moving to Abidjan, 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 the continent from Mauritania, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Mali, to Zaire and Congo-Brazzaville, via Chad, Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon. She contributed to all BBC radio and television 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 BBC West Africa correspondent, she returned to Bush House in 1994, as a host and senior producer on the BBC World Service flagship programs, Newshour & Newsday (now The World Today), and as a contributing Africa specialist for other radio and TV output.

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. She also spent six months as a roving Africa reporter, covering — among other events — the fall of President Mobutu Sese Seko in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) in 1997.

In 1998, after another stint back at BBC World Service, Quist-Arcton was appointed co-host of the South African Broadcasting Corporation's flagship radio drive-time show, PM Live, based in Johannesburg.

In 2000, she left the BBC to join allAfrica.com (allAfricaGlobal Media) as Africa correspondent, 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 November 2004 at the newly-created post of West Africa Correspondent, moving back to her home region, with a new base in Senegal.

Her passions are African art and culture, music, literature, open-air markets, antiques - and learning. She loves to travel and enjoys cycling and photography.

 

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8:00am

Sun July 17, 2011
Africa

Drought In The Horn Of Africa

Close to 10 million people urgently require food aid in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia, with children and the elderly in the direst situation. NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton travels to Northwest Kenya for a first-hand look at the results of the devastating drought in the Horn of Africa.

8:00am

Sun July 10, 2011
Africa

Newly Born, South Sudan's First Steps Are Next

Africa is celebrating the birth of the Republic of Southern Sudan. South Sudan waged a brutal and lengthy war of independence from the North and as the celebratory parades end, the country faces significant development challenges. NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports.

12:43pm

Thu July 7, 2011
Africa

Celebratory South Sudan Prepares For Independence

A Sudanese man holds the flag of South Sudan.
Phil Moore AFP/Getty Images

It is not often the world welcomes a brand new nation into its fold. But that will be the case on Saturday, when South Sudan becomes the United Nations' 193rd member and the African Union's 54th.

Independence comes after a bitter and long-fought conflict against Sudan's north, which left the south marginalized, underdeveloped and facing huge challenges — and the specter of more fighting.

But in Juba, the new capital, South Sudan is preparing to celebrate.

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12:01am

Thu May 12, 2011
Africa

New Ivorian Leader Faces Challenges, Criticism

Ivory Coast's incoming president, Alassane Ouattara, who belatedly took the oath of office May 6, has a tough challenge on his hands: to reconcile and restore peace to his West African nation after a bloody and protracted post-election standoff. Mass graves, evidence of extrajudicial executions, forming a national army, setting up a truth-and-reconciliation commission and kick-starting the economy are just some of the hurdles he faces.

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5:14pm

Fri April 22, 2011
Africa

Infighting Threatens Ivory Coast's Path To Peace

Ivory Coast is struggling to get back on its feet after a five-month presidential tug-of-war that claimed hundreds of lives and displaced more than a million people.

But there's possibly more trouble brewing for the incoming president, Alassane Ouattara, with infighting among former rebels who propelled him to power.

Ouattara ordered soldiers from all sides of the conflict back to barracks on Friday. Ouattara says his top priority is to restore security, after weeks of fierce fighting in the commercial capital, Abidjan.

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