BBC: 2017 Komla Dumor Awards Unveiled

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The BBC is seeking a future star of African journalism for the BBC World News Komla Dumor Award, now in its third year.

Journalists from across the continent are invited to apply for the award, which aims to uncover and promote fresh talent from Africa.

The winner will spend three months at the BBC headquarters in London, gaining skills and experience.

Applications close on 15th March 2017 at 23:59 GMT.

The award was established to honour Komla Dumor, an exceptional Ghanaian broadcaster and presenter for BBC World News, who died suddenly aged 41 in 2014.

It will be made to an outstanding individual living and working in Africa, who combines strong journalism skills, on-air flair, and an exceptional talent in telling African stories with the ambition and potential to become a star of the future.

As well as spending time with the BBC in London, the winner will also get to travel to Africa to report a story – and have that story shared across the continent and the world.

Nancy Kacungira, who worked as a prime time news presenter for KTN in Kenya, won the award in 2015.

Didi Akinyelure, a Nigerian journalist who started out as an investment banker, was the 2016 winner.

During her placement, Ms Akinyelure went to the Ivory Coast to investigate new opportunities for the local chocolate manufacturing industry.

“It has been completely life-changing for me,” she says of her experience at the BBC.

“You get intensive training in journalism – everything from presenting, to editing, to writing, to telling the story, to understanding BBC ethics.

“Whatever it is that you have may be what the BBC is looking for. So you need to take this opportunity and seriously, apply.”

She is in Blantyre to launch the 2017 prize, along with Francesca Unsworth, the director of the BBC World Service.

Ms Unsworth has reiterated the commitment of the BBC to continuing Komla Dumor’s legacy: “We have already awarded and hosted two exceptionally talented journalists, who were given the opportunity to train with us and report from Africa for our audiences across the BBC.

“It has been a pleasure getting to know both Nancy and Didi. It has also been great to learn from both our award winners, improving our engagement with local audiences.

“We’re looking forward to finding the next rising star in African journalism and welcoming them as the next BBC World News Komla Dumor Award winner.”

Applications will be considered by an expert panel: Rachael Akidi from the BBC’s Focus on Africa programme; Paul Royall, who is the editor of the prominent BBC UK TV programmes, the Six and Ten O’Clock News; and Khadija Patel, editor-in-chief of South Africa’s Mail & Guardian newspaper.

Ms Patel spoke of her motivation for joining the award panel: “Komla’s work touched so many of us.

“He was loved by those who knew him, but he was also respected by so many more. His work remains testimony to the strength of African journalism and I’m delighted to be able to honour his memory.”

Source: BBC

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