East Africa’s finest reporters on the EAC integration process were honoured at a colourful EAC Media Awards Gala held at the Kigali Serena Hotel. The East African Community Secretariat and the East African Business Council are the Awards organizers.
George Omondi of Kenya’s Business Daily yet again clinched the EAC Secretary General’s Award, which is the highest honour on offer at the premier competition for reporters and commentators on EAC integration issues. For his efforts, Mr. Omondi took home a cash prize of $3000, in addition to an iPad, plaque and certificate, handed him by Rwandan Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Pierre Damien Habumuremyi, and EAC Secretary General Richard Sezibera. The same writer won an award for the political reporting category, which came with a cash prize of $1500, a plaque and certificate. The evening’s other winners included Dorothy Nakaweesi, who clinched the EABC Chairman’s Award for the best entry in the Business and Financial Reporting category. Nakaweesi was rewarded with a $2500 cash prize, a laptop, plaque and certificate. In the Broadcast category, Agina Aby Wasonga was crowned best, while Zephania Ubwani won the Health Reporting gong.
Mr. Robert Koigi was the pick for the Agriculture and Food Security Reporting prize, while Mr. Charles Kwizera notched the Higher Education prize. The Green Award, given for the best coverage of environment issues, went to Mr. Wanjohi Kabukuru.
Each category winner outside the EAC Secretary General’s Award and the EABC Chairman’s Award categories received a $1500 cash prize, a plaque and certificate. The chief guest at the Awards Gala Rt. Hon. Pierre Damien Habumuremyi said the awards will promote awareness and stimulate popular participation in the regional integration process. He challenged the media to “open up a candid and powerful conversation and frank exchange of views and opinions on how best we can all rise to the challenge of promoting a more robust citizen participation in the EAC integration.” Twelve contestants had been nominated for the final round of the awards, including Victor Mubwigiri of Burundi Agency. This was the first year Burundian journalists participated in the competition.