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1995 - 2008 Finalists and Winners

Nelson Mandela Welcomes the CNN African Journalist of the Year Finalists

For Release: 18 June 2003

Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa, was honorary guest this morning at a breakfast held at the Westcliff to congratulate the finalists of the 'CNN African Journalist of the Year' competition. Mr. Mandela was presented with a commemorative 'CNN African Journalist of the Year' plaque by Edward Boateng, founder of the competition and Ibiba DonPedro, one of the finalists, on behalf of the 'CNN African Journalist of the Year 2003 Finalists'.

Mr. Mandela praised the 13 finalists for their journalistic expertise and their relentless dedication and commitment to recounting the African story through African eyes.

"For all of you journalists, working in and on Africa, are performing a social function of immense importance. The well being of people can be affected by decisions reached on the basis of your reporting. You are the mirror in which governments of our continent must see themselves and report fearlessly and honestly. You are the image-makers through which the rest of the world judges our continent, report with understanding and honesty we plead," said Mr. Mandela.

"We have come a long way in the eight years since this competition was launched. From a fledgling initiative conceived by my colleague Edward Boateng, 'The CNN African Journalist of the Year Competition' has grown to become Africa's premier awards. This morning we are profoundly honoured to have Mr Mandela with us. His presence is a testament to the journalistic excellence that these finalists have demonstrated and an endorsement that these awards have reached a level of prestige and recognition throughout Africa," said Chris Cramer, President CNN International Networks.

The 13 finalists of the CNN African Journalist of the Year Competition 2003 are:

  • Claudine Atahoun, Office de Radiodiffusion et de la Television du Benin (ORTB), Benin
  • Maggi Barnard, The Namibian, Namibia
  • Ibiba DonPedro, The Guardian, Nigeria
  • Gill Gifford, The Star, South Africa
  • Eric Kakore, Radio Simba, Uganda
  • Anna-Maria Lombard and Alpheus Siebane, South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), South Africa
  • Patrick Ma­gua, Kenyan Television Network (KTN), Kenya
  • Walter Marwizi, The Standard, Zimbabwe
  • Betty Mkwasa, ITV-Independent Television Ltd, Tanzania
  • Mpho Moagi, South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), South Africa
  • Ambrose Namoyo, Climax Magazine, Malawi
  • Siphiwe Sibeko, The Star, South Africa

Criteria for the awards: Entrants were asked to submit published or broadcast work, or professionally reproduced photographs completed in 2002 for the following categories: General News (print, radio and TV); Business; Environment; Free Press-Africa, Health/Medical; Photography; Sport, Francophone General News; Arts & Culture and Tourism. Reports were submitted in various formats, including photographs, video or audiotapes, written editorial or a combination. Marks were awarded for choice of subject, originality, style and clarity, structure of the story, balance and level of research.

Note to Editors:
This year's CNN African Journalist of the Year Awards was held in partnership with the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) who, in addition to their support of the Awards, will broadcast a highlights programme of the ceremony.

The Awards ceremony is held in association with South African Airways (SAA), The Westcliff, official hotel sponsor; and Multichoice Africa Foundation, and with the support of sponsors The Sandton Convention Centre; Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD) South Africa; IPP, Tanzania; Global Media Alliance ▄ GMA; This Day; Freedom Forum; Johnnic Publishing Limited and Reyneke Wines. The Mohamed Amin Award for photography was sponsored by Camerapix, Kenya.

Judging of the entries was completed in May by a distinguished panel of judges, including Chairperson of the Judging Panel Dr. Doyinsola Abiola, Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, Concord Press, Nigeria; John Battersby, Group Political Editor of Independent Newspapers, South Africa; Jerri Eddings, Executive Director for the Foundation of AFRICAN Media Excellence (FAME), South Africa; Joel Kibazo, Director of Communications and Public Affairs Division at the Commonwealth Secretariat; Jeff Koinange, CNN Lagos Bureau Chief; Maimouna Mills, Executive Producer/Host "Up Close with Maimouna Mills" and Jimi Matthews, head of News and Current Affairs, SABC News.

The competition is open to all professional journalists based in Africa, with head offices in Africa, who report on African issues.


Seema Alibhai Tel: +44 207 693 0940
Cellphone: Tel: + 44 7970 77 77 97
Contact in South Africa: Communications Services
Barbara Bester Tel: +27 11 463 1011/Fax: +27 11 463 1323/
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