By Peterking Quaye – In a release issued by the organizers of Africa’s most prestigious journalism awards –CNN African Journalist Awards 2011 . The statement by MultiChoice, Accra, by Joel Kibazo, Chair of the independent judging panel, announced that the Ghanaian pair were among the 27 finalists from 13 countries .
2010 CNN Multichoice African Journalist features winner, Kofi Akpabli has been named along with Portia Solomon of TV3 in the final list of nominations for the 2011 version.
The winners of the competition will be announced at an Award Ceremony and Gala Evening in Johannesburg, South Africa on Saturday, 25th June, 2011.The competition, in its 16th year, this year received entries from 42 countries across the continent, including French and Portuguese speaking Africa.
The full list is as follows:
- Kofi Akpabli, Freelance for the Daily Graphic, Ghana
- Portia Solomon, TV3 News, Ghana
- Claudine Efoa Atohoun, ORTB, Benin
- Rabin Bhujun, L’Express Dimanche, Mauritius
- José Bouças de Oliveira, Televisão Santomense, São Tomé
- Sylvia Chebet, Citizen TV, Kenya
- DispatchOnline Team, Daily Dispatch, South Africa
- Kimani Githae, Citizen TV, Kenya
- Lamia Hassan, Business Today, Egypt
- Virgil Augustin Pascal Houesson, L’événement Précis, Benin
- Mahamud Abdi Jama, Waaheen, Somalia
- Norman Katende, Freelance for The New Vision, Uganda
- Farouk Kayondo, UBC, Uganda
- Mark Klusener, eNews Africa, South Africa
- Selma Marivate, Record, Mozambique
- Melini Moses, SABC, South Africa
- Lindile Mpanza, e.tv, South Africa
- Kamau Mutunga, DN2 Magazine, Daily Nation, Kenya
- Nigel M. Nassar, The New Vision, Uganda
- Fatuma Noor, The Star, Kenya
- Oluwatoyos Ogunseye, Sunday Punch, Nigeria
- Nnamdi Okosieme, Next Newspaper, Nigeria
- Benon Herbert Oluka, Sunday Life Magazine, Sunday Monitor, Uganda
- Beryl Ooro, K24 TV, Kenya
- Sonny Serite, Freelance for The Sunday Standard, Botswana
- Kipchumba Some, The Standard, Kenya
- Nkula Zau, Televisão Pública de Angola
The statement also announced Mahamud Abdi Jama, Editor of Waaheen, an independent private newspaper published in Somaliland as the recipient of the Free Press Africa Award.
Waaheen, part of the Waaheen Media Group, is known for its critical coverage of the government.
Mahamud was sentenced to three years in prison and fined in connection with a story alleging public corruption. After pressure on the Government Mahamud was granted a presidential pardon and released after spending over a month in prison. He is awarded this prize for working under stressful conditions, and in the face of opposition and providing the public with important information, regardless of the consequences to himself.
Announcing the finalists, Joel Kibazo said: “African journalists are becoming noticeably more challenging, showing greater courage and strength which would have been unimaginable just a few years ago. Entries this year have demonstrated this – bolder, more determined on their home patch, and with a new found zeal to cover countries beyond their own borders.”