Nigeria: CNN Multichoice African Journalist Award Holds July 21

Chairman of the independent judging panel of this year's CNN MultiChoice African Journalist competition/Award, Ferial Haffajee, who is also the Editor-in-Chief, City Press, South Africa, has announced the finalists in the competition which will be held in Lusaka, the capital city of Zambia, on July 21. The competition which is now in its 17th year, has received entries from 42 countries across the continent, including French and Portuguese speaking Africa. A statement issued and made available to THISDAY yesterday by the organisers revealed that the winners of the competition will be announced at an Award Ceremony and Gala evening in Lusaka while the hosts for the event will be Isha Sesay, host of CNN Internatio-nal's NewsCenter and Franklin Tembo Jnr, ZNBC presenter. Among the 34 finalists from 12 countries are Tunde Akingbade, (Freelance), The Guardian on Sunday, Nigeria; Joshua Anny, Joy FM, Ghana :Ahaoma Kanu, National Daily Newspaper, Nigeria; Megan Small and Clive Mtshali, third Degree, Etv South Africa; Peter Nkanga, Elor Nkereuwem, Musikilu Mojeed and Idris Akinbajo, NEXT on Sunday, Nigeria, and a host of others. Announcing the finalists, Haffajee said: "The growing quality of the entries we poured over is a reflection of a growing continent claiming its place in the sun. We were impressed by the enhanced quality and competitiveness of the work before us; by the heart and soul poured onto pages and pixels; In print, in radio, in television it is clear that African journalism is in a growth spurt, claiming its stake as world-class and globally competitive just like our continent." The independent judging panel will also include Ikechukwu Amaechi, Editor, Daily Independent, Nigeria; Amadou Mahtar Ba, CEO, African Media Initiative; Jean-Paul Gérouard, Editor-in-Chief, France Télévisions; Joel Kibazo, journalist and media consultant; Arlindo Lopes, General Manager, Regulatory and Corporate, Angola and Mozambique, MultiChoice Africa Limited amongst others. It was also learnt in the statement that the competition received Nokia as the sponsor of the Digital Journalism Award, joining a list of numerous sponsors who continue to lend their valuable support to the awards, like the African Development Bank (AfDB); The Coca-Cola Company; Ecobank; Ericsson; IPP Media, Tanzania; Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD), UNICEF and A24 Media. Meanwhile Executive Vice-President and Managing Director of CNN International, Tony Maddox, added that: "This year competition has seen a record number of entries for the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards from a diverse array of countries across the continent. The quality and excellence of the work submitted continues to rise year on year, ensuring that the 2012 competition maintains its place as the most prestigious Pan African Awards for journalists."
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