Finalists in the prestigious CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2010 Competition were announced today by Joel Kibazo, Chair of the independent judging panel. The competition is now in its 15th year.
This year the competition received entries from 975 journalists from 40 countries throughout the continent, including French and Portuguese speaking Africa.
There are 27 finalists from 15 countries:
· Halima Abdallah Kisule, East African, Uganda
· Kofi Akpabli, freelance for Daily Graphic, Ghana
· Njaka Andriamahery, TV Plus, Madagascar
· Pelu Awofeso, freelance for NEXT on Sunday, Nigeria
· Najlae Benmbarek, 2M TV, Maroc
· Teresa Chirwa, Zodiak Broadcasting Station, Malawi
· DispatchOnline Team, Daily Dispatch, South Africa
· Mustafa Haji Abdinur, co-founder SIMBA Radio, Somalia
· Thanduxolo Jika, Daily Dispatch, South Africa
· Zipporah Karani, KTN, Kenya
· Charles Kariuki, World Vision Kenya for NTV
· Alexandre Lebel Ilboudo, Le Patriote, Côte d'Ivoire
· Lucas Ledwaba, DRUM, South Africa
· Tsitsi Matope, Public Eye, Lesotho
· Emmanuel Mayah, Daily Sun, Nigeria
· Kassim Mohamed, Star FM, Kenya
· Oarabile Mosikare, Botswana for Mail & Guardian, South Africa
· Francis Mugo Mwangi, freelance for NTV, Kenya
· Boniface Mwangi, freelance for The Star, Kenya
· Rose Ramsay, eNews, South Africa
· Sam Rogers, e.tv, South Africa
· Sergio José Sitoe, Rede de Comuniação Miramar, Moçambique
· Leon Ssenyange, NTV, Uganda
· Lamia Tagzout, El Watan, Algérie
· Sebastião Vemba, Novo Jornal, Angola
· Kaara Wainaina, NTV, Kenya
· Roseline Wangui, NTV, Kenya
This year the recipient of the Free Press Africa Award is Mustafa Haji Abdinur, co-founder of SIMBA Radio in Mogadishu and founder of Somali Media for Peace and Development (SOMEPED). He is awarded this prize for his work in Somaliaincluding the 'Peace Journalism' initiative which he launched with the help of fellow Somali journalists. The Award is also in recognition of all the journalists in Somaliawho have put their lives at risk in telling the story. There are nine journalists who died during 2009 whilst fulfilling their professional duties:
AbdulkhafarAbdulkadir Hasan, freelance
Mohamed Amin Adan Abdulle, Radio Shabelle
Hassan Zubeyr Haji Hassan, Al-Arabiya
Mohamud Mohamed Yusuf, Radio IQK
Mukhtar MohamedHirabe, Radio Shabelle
Nur Muse Hussein, Radio IQK
AbdirisakMohamed Warsame, Radio Shabelle
Said Tahlil Ahmed, HornAfrik
Hassan Mayow Hassan, Radio Shabelle
The winners of the competition will be announced at an Award Ceremony and Gala Evening in Kampala, Uganda on Saturday 29th May 2010.
The hosts for the evening will be Isha Sesay, presenter of CNN International's weekly programme 'Inside Africa' and Dr Ronnie Mich Egwang, a well-known Ugandan presenter.
Announcing the finalists, Joel Kibazo said: “2010 is a record breaking year for entries to these awards. Not only do the numbers continue to grow each year, but the standard rises too. I was particularly impressed by the increasing number of journalists that crossed borders in pursuit of stories. This maturing of journalism, across the continent, combined with technological advances, created a greater body of work and made the awards more exciting to judge.”
Reflecting on the role of the awards, Kibazo added: "The competition is now truly established as a way for African journalists to better their lives. I firmly believe the quality and number of people entering reflects the fact that the awards offer a fantastic opportunity to change an individual's future.”
The independent judging panel, chaired by Joel Kibazo, journalist and media consultant, includes: Ikechukwu Amaechi, Editor, Daily Independent, Nigeria; Jean-Paul Gérouard, Deputy Editor-in-Chief, France 3 TV; Ferial Haffajee, Editor-in-Chief, City Press, South Africa; Arlindo Lopes, Secretary General, Southern African Broadcasting Association; José Luís Mendonça, Press Counsellor, Angolan Permanent Delegation to UNESCO; Zipporah Musau, Managing Editor, Magazines, The Standard Group Ltd, Kenya; Kim Norgaard, CNN Bureau Chief, South Africa.
The prestigious sponsors include: Coca-Cola Africa; Ecobank, IPP Media, Tanzania; Kampala Serena Hotel; Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD); NN24 Nigeria; Research In Motion (RIM), the company behind the BlackBerry solution; Safebond Africa Ltd and A24 Media.
The Kampala Serena is the delegate hotel for the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards 2010. The hotel extends a truly warm Kampalawelcome to finalists, judges, attending media and guests from across the continent. The finalists will enjoy an all expenses paid five day programme of workshops, media forums, networking and have the opportunity to see some of the sights of Kampala.
Tony Maddox, Executive Vice-President and Managing Director of CNN International said: “The CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards celebrates its 15thanniversary this year, coinciding with CNN celebrating 30 years as the world's pioneering news provider. As CNN encourages, promotes and recognises excellence in journalism at all levels, we are particularly pleased to be able to support journalists who represent our future. I have witnessed the quality and excellence of work in this competition strengthen year on year, and am proud that it continues to maintain its place as the most prestigious Pan African journalist awards.”
Collins Khumalo, President MultiChoice Africa, said: “We congratulate the 27 finalists of this year's awards. The great success that this event has enjoyed over the past 15 years makes the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards the one honour that journalists and media houses throughout the continent want to be associated with. Through these awards, MultiChoice in partnership with CNN, continue to acknowledge and celebrate the best journalistic talent and skills that Africa's media have to offer.”
About the award:
The CNN African Journalist of the Year Award was founded in 1995 by Edward Boateng (formerly African Regional Director for Turner Broadcasting System Inc., CNN's parent company) and the late Mohamed Amin, to recognise and encourage excellence in journalism throughout Africa.