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4 Days Remain For Entries Before Close of 2019 Sanlam Financial Journalist of the Year Awards


There are four days remaining before reporters who are practicing financial journalism in the African continent can be able to submit their entries for the 2019 Sanlam Financial Journalist of the Year Awards.

The announcement comes at the same time that Tanzanian journalist Mr Erick Kabendera was released from prison after seven months of being detained for a variety of charges including questions over his citizenship, sedition, tax evasion and money laundering, states The Dispatch Live.

Currently running in its 45th consecutive year, the Sanlam Financial Journalist of the Year seeks to recognise the best financial reporting by reporters based in Africa, publishing or broadcasting commendable journalism about the continent.
Representing the longest running awards dedicated to financial journalism in Africa, their objective is to support the development of journalism.

The Awards attract keen interest from journalists across the continent. In 2018, 78 journalists representing 58 media organisations submitted 97 entries.

Entrants must submit their submissions through Sanlam’s website:

The African Growth Story category, which recognises the best journalism covering the significance of business and investment on the continent, is open to financial journalists based in Africa who publish and/or broadcast their work on the region. Entries for this category must focus on the growth of the continent in terms of investment, infrastructure development, economic progress and related topics. Stories also should incorporate a continental outlook.v
Previous winners of the African Growth Story category include Isaac Anyaogu of Business Day in Nigeria (2018), Dominic Omondi of The Standard newspaper in Kenya (2017), and Ancillar Mangena of Forbes Africa in South Africa (2016).

The other categories are open to journalists working in print, radio, TV and online media in South Africa. They are:

o Business/Companies

o Economy

o Financial Markets

o Consumer Financial Education

All five categories recognise financial journalists who produced compelling business stories between 1 January and 30 December 2019.

Additionally, the judging panel bestows special awards, which are:

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o Best Newcomer;

o Lifetime Achievement; and

o Sanlam Financial Journalist of the Year.

The Special Awards recognises journalists based on the discretion of the judging panel, which exercises a nomination and rigorous evaluation process.

Mr Isaac Anyaogu from the Business Day newspaper in Nigeria, and former Forbes Africa writers, Melitta Ngalonkulu (now with Moneyweb) and Aviwe Mtila (now with eNCA TV) are some of the recent Best Newcomer category winners for 2018, 2017, 2016 respectively.

Mr Neville Otuki, former business reporter at Energy Siren News in Kenya and a runner up in the best newcomer category in 2018, says that journalists in their investigative role have an important role to play in the society.

“Society has critical business stories the public needs to know. It is important we amplify these stories. Being acknowledged by the awards for doing so is humbling and equally rewarding, not only for journalists but for our profession as well,” he says.

Previous winners of the journalist of the year award include Rob Rose editor of Financial Mail (2018), Sikonathi Mantshantsha, former editor at Scorpio, the Investigative Unit of Daily Maverick (2017), and Susan Comrie of AmaBhungane (2016).

According to Amnesty International, press freedom comes at a cost, as has the case been in Somalia, where for the last three years, reporters who have sought to expose ills in the government of President Mohamed Abdullahi, have either been detained, worked in unfavourable conditions or have been killed for doing their work, states the report “We Live In Perpetual Fear.”

In addition, the journalists in Somali also have to contend with attacks from the terrorist group, Al-Shabaab, as was the case when Mohamed Sahal Omar and Hodan Nalayeh died following an attack at a Kismaiyo hotel in July last year, states the report by Amnesty International.

There has been criticism that has also been levelled at the way that digital laws that have been introduced in a few African countries have resulted in censorship, which goes contrary to freedom of expression as has been advocated in Sustainable Development Goal 16, which is concerned with peace and democracy.

Outside Africa, the case is no different.

According to Human Rights Watch, the protests that started in Iran since November 15th 2019, owing to the rise in gasoline prices have resulted in internet shutdowns, which are contrary to Iranian laws which promote freedom of assembly and facilitate freedom of expression, while families that have sought to express their experiences with the media, have been warned against doing so by the authorities.

According to the Global Cost of Internet Shutdowns in 2019, the global economy lost $8 billion dollars from the shutdowns, with the areas that were mostly affected being North Africa ($ 3.1 billion) and Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) at $ 2.1 billion.

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