Tanzanian journalist wins OFAB 2018 Journalist of the year award

By
Prosper K. Kuorsoh, GNA

Ouagadougou, Sept. 14, GNA – Mr Calvin Edward
Gwabara, a Tanzanian Broadcast Journalist, working with the Sokoine University
of Agriculture’s Media, has emerged the winner of the Open Forum on Agriculture
Biotechnology (OFAB) Africa Media Awards, 2018.

The Awards, which took place in Ouagadougou,
capital town of Burkina Faso, saw Mr Gwabara winning the Television category
before emerging the OFAB 2018 Journalist of the Year.

 Mr Brian
Okinda, a Kenyan journalist, with Daily Nation, won the Print/Online Category
whilst Mr Philip Bagyiliku Tengzu, a journalist from Ghana working with Radio
Mak in Wa, was adjudged the Best Journalist for the Radio Category of the
Awards.

Mr Auguste Jean-Yves Nebie of Burkina Faso
with the Infos Sciences Culture, Mr Philip Keitany of Kenya with the Kenya
Television Network, and Mr Frank Ojufo with Vision FM, Abuja, Nigeria, all
emerged first runner ups in the print/online, Television and Radio Categories
respectively.

Each of the six winners took home an iPhone
and a certificate of recognition each as their prize whilst the remaining
finalists from the seven countries including GNA’s Prosper Kuorsoh, were
presented with certificates of recognition.

The awards ceremony was put together by
African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) and its partners in
collaboration with the National and Agricultural Research Institute of Burkina
Faso.

The OFAB 2018 Media Awards was held under the
theme: “Recognizing Journalistic Excellence in Agricultural Biotechnology in
Africa”.

Dr Denis T. Kyetere, Executive Director of the
AATF, congratulated winners for their invaluable contribution in the promotion
of Agricultural Biotechnology.

“AATF is proud and honoured to be celebrating
journalists and the critical role the media play in promoting evidence based
reporting on agriculture based biotechnology”, he said.

Dr Kyetere said the OFAB Media Awards is aimed
at recognizing exemplary journalism that promoted best practices in science
reporting with emphasis on agriculture biotechnology through responsible,
professional, ethical and effective reporting.

He said AATF is a non-for-profit organisation
that facilitated and promoted partnerships for the access of appropriate
agricultural biotechnologies for sustainable use by smallholder farmers in
Africa.

Dr Kyetere said the  OFAB project was initiated in 2006 to enhance
knowledge sharing of agricultural biotechnology in Africa, stressing that AATF
facilitated quality engagement on the benefits of modern Agriculture
Biotechnology among shareholders in addressing global challenges like climate
change and food insecurity among others.

“We believe that journalists have a vital role
to play in promoting awareness and the adoption of agriculture biotechnologies,
which can greatly improve Africa’s chance of improving food security and the
livelihoods of smallholder farmers and economies of the African countries”, he
said.

The AATF Executive Director said: “This can be
done by adopting favourable policies that support agriculture development for
economic growth”,

Mr Daniel Otunge, Project Manager, OFAB, noted
that since the creation of the platform in 2006, it has grown to cover seven
countries including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, and
Burkina Faso.

He said the unfortunate controversy
surrounding biotechnology called for journalists to play a critical role of
explaining the technology to the people for their acceptance.

Mr Remy Dandjinou, the Burkina Faso Minister
for Communication, commended AATF and its partners for their efforts in
promoting technologies that would enable African farmers engage in sustainable
agriculture for improved livelihoods.

The journalists attending the ceremony are
also participating in a day’s discussion on solution journalism.

GNA

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