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Radio Journalists Honored for Their Efforts

2011 November 30

“RFPA winners (from left) E. Maina, SFCG Rwanda National Programs Manager Narcisse Kalisa, S. Guillaume, E. Ojok, and R. Besant

On November 23rd, the winners of the 2011 Radio For Peacebuilding Africa (RFPA) Awards were honoured at a ceremony organised by Search for Common Ground in Kigali, Rwanda! The Awards are given to exemplary radio journalism in three categories: Youth, Gender and a Jury’s Special Prize. The prize recognizes high quality radio programs that contribute to peace in Africa.

RFPA had received a diverse selection of programs both fictional and non-fictional programs in English, French and local languages. Jury members were media and peacebuilding experts from sub-Saharan Africa, as well as from Europe and the United States.

Approximately 40 people, including journalists from the Great Lakes region, representatives of civil society organizations, and Rwandan government officials, attended the ceremony. The winner of the Youth Award is Eunice Maina from Well Told Story in Nairobi, Kenya for his radio show that focuses on political manipulation of youth. For his show Let’s Talk Peace, Ojok Emmanuel from Radio Pacis in Arua, Uganda, won the Jury’s Special Award. The show addresses the conflict between local residents and pastoralists in Uganda.

The two awardees travelled to Kigali to receive the Award from Rebecca Besant, SFCG’s country director in Rwanda. Sheriff Bojang Junior, winner of the Gender Award, was also honored although he was unable to participate in person. His radio program is a magazine addressing the issue of rape and other forms of violence against women in Senegal.

“RFPA seeks to create a peer network among African journalists working for peace and development. We are delighted to honor these journalists for their efforts and hope to encourage Rwandan journalists to participate in this network as well,” said Rebecca Besant.

The ceremony ended with a speech from Serge Guillaume, Adviser to the Rwandan Minister of Youth, Sport and Culture, who congratulated the winners and insisted that journalists have an important role in their societies. He also highlighted the importance of ICTs (Information and communications technologies) as a tool for journalists.

Eunice and Emmanuel exchanging with staff members from Radio Izuba

In addition to the ceremony, the winners spent three days in Rwanda to learn from their peers. They had the opportunity to exchange experiences with journalists from Rwanda, Burundi, and Democratic Republic of Congo during various meetings. They also visited two radio stations: Radio Izuba, a community radio station in the Eastern province, and Radio Isango Star, a private radio station based in Kigali.

It was both Eunice and Emmanuel’s first time in Rwanda and they said, “We are really grateful for this experience, and many of the topics that journalists are discussing here are also very relevant in our countries!”

The RFPA Team congratulates the winners!

Radio for Peacebuilding Africa (RFPA) is a project of SFCG, supported by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. It aims to leverage the power of ICTs to share information and empower individuals spread across a wide area, strengthening the capacity of African journalists from across the continent. For more information on this project and to join the RFPA network, which has more than 3,000 members, visit or contact us at [email protected].

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