Winning journalists from all over the world announced, showcasing the best business journalism from and about the African continent.
London – Friday 29 June 2012 - Diageo, the world's leading premium drinks company, has announced the winners of the 2012 Diageo Africa Business Reporting Awards at a gala ceremony, which took place in London yesterday evening. The Awards, which are now in their ninth year, celebrate the journalists and media outlets who have delivered excellent business journalism from and about Africa. Entries this year were received from 27 countries, with two-thirds of entries published in the African media.
Winners from the ten categories came from all over the world. Oliver August, Africa Editor of The Economist, was named Journalist of the Year and the Best Newcomer title was awarded to Drew Hinshaw, a freelance journalist writing for The Wall Street Journal and The Atlantic, among other titles. The award for Media of the Year went to The Africa Report. A full list of winners can be found below and at www.diageoafricabusinessreportingawards.com.
Paul Walsh, Chief Executive , Diageo plc and chair of the judging panel said, "Africa is becoming increasingly important as a business and investment destination; this is rightly reflected in the media as it reports on the full spectrum of economic activity in Africa, providing fair and balanced coverage of the opportunities as well as the challenges. As a leading pan-African business, Diageo believes that companies also have a responsibility to help create a more favourable business environment, and our support for these awards is just part of our commitment to building a long-term, sustainable business that benefits the communities and countries within which we operate.”
The Keynote address was delivered by KY Amoako, Director and Founder of the African Centre for Economic Transformation, who commented: “These are promising times for Africa. Not since the post-independence movement have I seen such optimism for the continent. A stream of recent reports and articles tell the story of the continent’s wave of democracy, growth of economies, and abundance of investment opportunities. Less is told about how the media has fueled this positive loop; about the intrepid journalists who risked their lives so the press may be free, about the entrepreneurial broadcasters who opened the phone lines so citizens may speak. Africa thanks you. And Africa still needs you, desperately.”
Presenting the Awards, Nick Blazquez, President, Diageo Africa, said, "While Africa is home to some of the world’s fastest-growing and most dynamic economies and some strong business performances, there remain misperceptions of it as a place to do business. As all of tonight’s finalists prove, there is a more detailed story to be told about Africa, one of entrepreneurship, cutting-edge technology, sustainability, leadership and commitment to building a better future.”.
He added that: “Quality investigative journalism plays a vital role in strengthening the business environment by encouraging greater openness, accountability and transparency. And in doing so you directly challenge negative perceptions and encourage investors to believe that Africa is indeed open for business."
The 2012 winners of the Diageo Africa Business Reporting Awards are:
BEST INFORMATION & COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT) FEATURE Is Google good for Africa? Gemma Ware (The Africa Report, France)
BEST FINANCE FEATURE Mobile Banking Wanjohi Kabukuru (African Banker, Kenya)
BEST INFRASTRUCTURE FEATURE Releasing the Floodgates of Finance Nicholas Norbrook (The Africa Report, France)
BEST AGRIBUSINESS / ENVIRONMENT FEATURE Ghana's Gold Anas Aremeyaw Anas (Al Jazeera, Ghana)
BEST TOURISM FEATURE South African commercial shows Nigeria still in search of global brand identity Ella-Marcelle Olamiju (National Mirror, Nigeria)
BEST BUSINESS NEWS STORY South Sudan: land of opportunity, if you don't mind risk Alexander Dziadosz (Reuters, UK)
BEST BUSINESS FEATURE Rising from the Ashes: Rwanda’s Bold Vision for Development Jonathan Rosen (World Politics Review, USA)
BEST NEWCOMER Drew Hinshaw (The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic; USA)
MEDIA OF THE YEAR The Africa Report (France)
JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR Oliver August (The Economist, UK)
Winners received a bronze statue titled “News” by the sculptor Loni Kreuder and a cheque for £500.
For more information, visit www.diageoafricabusinessreportingawards.com or contact: Katherine Ambler, africapractice, email@example.com, +44 (0) 207 087 3780
About Diageo plc and Diageo Africa
Diageo is the world's leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, wines, and beer categories. Diageo is a global company, trading in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE).
Diageo Africa is primarily a beer and spirits company whose brands are sold in more than 40 countries in Africa. Diageo has a long established presence in Africa with the first recorded exports of Guinness to Sierra Leone in 1827.
Guinness is a truly pan-regional premium beer brand brewed in over 20 countries throughout the continent and is exported to many others. Diageo’s businesses also produce and sell a range of local beer brands including Tusker, Senator Keg, Premium Serengeti Lager, Meta, Harp and Bell. Diageo is also the leading premium spirits company in Africa, and its great brands include Johnnie Walker Scotch Whisky, Smirnoff vodka, Baileys and Gilbeys gin.
Diageo Africa employs over 5,000 people accounting for one in four of Diageo’s workforce worldwide. In some key markets it has built its own in-market businesses with distribution access to trade channels, some of which have listings on local stock exchanges. In other markets, it will look to partner with a local business, through licensing brands or through third party distribution. All of these companies have active community investment programmes, covering initiatives in water, farming and rural value chains, health, education and other areas of value to the communities in which they operate across Africa.
Diageo has recently published its report on its business approach in Africa which you can download below.
As part of its ongoing commitment to the communities in which it operates, enriching lives and contributing to the UN Millennium Development Goal 7, Diageo Africa created the Water of Life programme to support projects that provide access to clean drinking water and advance environmental conservation. The programme which was initiated in 2000 aims to benefit 5 million people by end of 2011, 8 million by 2015 and many thousands more through construction and maintenance of sites, improved sanitation and the empowerment of women. To date, Diageo has funded over 100 different water and sanitation projects, impacting over 4 million people in 15 different countries across the continent. Diageo works with international non-governmental organisations as well as local grass roots organisations to deliver water and sanitation through various types of technology including borehole construction, water filters, rainwater harvesting and watershed management. Diageo selects projects that, among other criteria, are community driven, include capacity building and training for the community, address sanitation issues and empower women.