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Image The 2010 Diageo Africa Business Reporting Awards recognised 11 journalists and editors who provide high quality coverage of the business environment in Africa.


For the past six years, the Diageo Africa Business Reporting Awards (DABRA) has provided an opportunity for journalists and news organizations reporting on Africa to be recognized for their efforts.

Now in its seventh year, and with a record 770 entries in 2010, Diageo, the world's leading premium drinks company, selected 11 journalists and editors for awards at a recent ceremony in London. The awards are a celebration of journalists and news organisations that have gone the extra mile to promote the African continent, with the large number of entries demonstrating increased reporting and competition in these Awards.

The winners from the eleven categories came from nine different countries, including the winner of Media of the Year, which went to Business Day in Nigeria. Peter Guest, editor of This is Africa, was named as Journalist of the Year and the Best Newcomer title was awarded to South African Gemma Ware, writing for The Africa Report.

The Untold Story of Africa

Diageo is the world's leading premium drinks business with a collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, wines, and beer categories including Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Smirnoff, J&B, Baileys and Captain Morgan.

The awards are a celebration of journalists and news organisations that have gone the extra mile to promote the African continent.


Diageo's brands are enjoyed in more than 40 African countries, with Nigeria representing the second largest Guinness market in the world. Diageo's Africa region is responsible for nearly a third of Diageo's net sales of beer globally, and with over 4,500 employees, accounts for around 15% of Diageo's workforce worldwide. Several of the larger Diageo companies in Africa are quoted on local stock exchanges.

As a global company with a strong presence in Africa, Diageo aims to support broader socio-economic development across the continent.

According to Paul Walsh, Chief Executive Officer of Diageo plc and Chair of the judging panel, "Very few consumer companies have the footprint, the leadership, the brands and the talent that Diageo has in Africa. We recognise that for Africa to develop, and for companies like Diageo to grow, we must do business sustainably."

Helping to make that happen, he says, is his company's mandate.

"For us, that means being a responsible business that aids broader socio-economic development. We all have a role in ensuring that happens, including the media. It is for that reason that I continue to value and support the Diageo Africa Business Reporting Awards."



The keynote speaker at the Awards, Ms. Obiageli Ezekwesili, Vice President of the Africa Region at the World Bank Group, pointed out the importance of the media in changing perceptions about Africa.

"It is obvious that the media in Africa - as much as the international press - needs to be part of changing perceptions about the continent," she said. "The days of Africa being seen as a place where potential is yet to be realized, or just simply as a destination for aid, must be put behind us. The reality today is that Africa is a viable business destination with a large and mainly untapped market, offering excellent investment returns and diverse opportunities for business. That's the untold story of Africa, and the media has an obligation to bring it to a wider audience."

Looking Beyond the Headlines

In a brief address to the audience, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for International Development Stephen O'Brien noted that, too often, news about Africa in the UK is negative.

"Yet Africa's rich culture and vibrant, growing economy is a good news story for those willing to look beyond the headlines," he said. "These awards are a great opportunity to celebrate the work of those journalists who scratch below the surface and show Africa for how it really is today - a continent that is looking to the future and open for business."

The 2010 Awards were launched in conjunction with a survey of independent media owners across Africa and, according to Nick Blazquez, Managing Director of Diageo Africa, the results revealed an increasing demand for business news about Africa and showed an increase in the diversity and flexibility of journalists, with the increase in availability of the internet also changing how people access news.

'The reality today is that Africa is a viable business destination with a large and mainly untapped market, offering excellent investment returns and diverse opportunities for business.'


"Across Africa we are seeing an increase in the public's appetite for business news and information, and an associated investment in business reporting by media outlets," he noted. "The quality and quantity of entries this year has been extremely encouraging and we look forward to ongoing growth and strength in the business media across Africa."

The Award winners, who each received a bronze statue titled "News" by the sculptor Loni Kreuder and a cheque for £500, represent those leading the way in international business reporting on Africa and, says Blazquez, "the Awards have an important role to play in shaping opinions and helping to create an environment for African business to succeed."

The 2010 winners of the Diageo Africa Business Reporting Awards include:


'Zimbabwe catches on to Facebook' Iden Wetherell (Global Post, Zimbabwe/USA)


'Ask Nigeria's Lamido Sanusi' David Stead and team (BBC World Service, Africa Have Your Say, UK)


'The Scramble for Blue Gold' Kerry Dimmer (African Decisions, South Africa)


'Hunger looms as biofuels take root in Uganda' Francis Kagolo (New Vision, Uganda)


'Land grabbing: The plunder of public beaches' Philip Mwakio (The Financial Journal, Kenya)


'China Takes African Market by Storm' Felix Dela Klutse (Daily Guide Newspaper, Ghana)


Business Day Nigeria (Nigeria)


A full list of winners can be found at: www.diageoafricabusinessreportingawards.com.

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