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.