EAC awards journalists, gives best reporter US$4000
Rwanda’s Charles Kwizera was among several journalists who walked away with prizes for this year’s East African Secretary General’s media awards.
Kwizera was recognised as the 2012 Best Higher Education Reporter in East Africa.
The awarding ceremony was hosted at Kigali Serena Hotel on Thursday night was attended by EAC Secretary General, Richard Sezibera, and the Prime Minister Pierre Damien Habumuremyi, who was the Guest of Honour.
Kwizera who was pitted against Wickliffe Odera, a Kenyan broadcaster, was recognised for an insightful piece he wrote for The New Times titled “EA varsities to harmonise academic calendar.”
“This is a dream come true for me; to be recognised by East Africa is an honour. I want to recognise the input of my colleagues and editors at The New Times who shaped me into who I am today,” Kwizera said.
Habumuryemyi recognised journalism as an important pillar through which government and the private sector can communicate their projects and goals.
“Awarding best journalists in the region will spur the need to write more about the agenda of East Africa and all the five partner states must offer strong support and avail information necessary for journalists to disseminate,” Habumuryemyi said.
The New Times newspaper was the only representative from Rwanda with two journalists short listed in the finalists’ category out of over 100 entrants from all over the region. Eric Kabera, whose story “Rwanda counts EAC benefits” lost out to Dorothy Nakweesi of the Daily Monitor (Uganda) for the East African Business Council (EABC) Chairman’s award for Business and Financial Reporting.
The overall winner of the night was George Omondi, of the Business Daily in Kenya, who walked away with US$4,000 and winning two awards as Best Political Federation Reporter and the EAC Secretary General Award for Best Reporter.
According to Arthur Asiimwe, the Chairman of the judges’ panel, this year’s contest was tough and had signs that East African media is taking its position in reporting about regional matters.
The awards are jointly organised by the EAC and EABC.
By Ivan R. Mugisha, The New Times
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