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African peace journalists receive awards

Three journalists from Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and Ghana were, on Wednesday, 17 October 2012, recognised for their high quality programs that contribute to peace in Africa. The competition was organised by Search for Common Ground's Radio for Peacebuilding Africa Project (RPBA).
In this second edition, three categories were awarded. These included Youth, Gender and the Jury's Special Award.

The Youth Award was won by DRC's Baron Nkoy for an episode called Camps Luca off the Bloc Notes radio program.

According to the jury, the program about water shortage, was "very strong from the technical point of view and very clear in terms of the substance", with a "variety of voices represented." The topic is very relevant as access to water is a common problem in many rural communities in Africa.

Burundi's Hortence Iradukunda won the Gender Award for her program Agateka Kawe Veuves. Agateka Kawe Veuves addresses the issue of widows and how they are perceived by the family of the deceased. "It explores crucial issues such as property rights, their role in the family and the stance Burundian law takes on widows and land ownership," said Search for Common Ground Program Director Narcisse Kalisa at the awards ceremony in Kigali yesterday night.

The jury was of the opinion that "the testimonies presented in the program captured the attention of the listener," and "It included a variety of points of views and a lot of relevant information."

In this category, Rwanda's Maggy: Une Maman Hors Pair came third. This riveting program is about Marguerite (Maggy) the founder of Shalom House, a childcare center and orphanage that is a home for vulnerable and sick children. It describes her motivation to establish the center and also provides details on the purpose and function of the Shalom House.

The Fulani Revealed, a program about the Fulani tribe in Ghana- who they are and how they are discriminated against won Umaru Sanda Amadu, the producer the Jury's Special Award.

The Fulani Revealed impressed the jury by its quality and audience-friendly approach. It was complemented for having good sound effects and using of music as a technique to engage the listener.

Upon receiving the award, Amadu said he was very happy to be able to highlight a problem that can even be found in other communities.

Kalisa praised the awards, saying, "We believe in the power of radio as a tool for peacebuilding. Journalists are our key partners on this initiative."

In Rwanda since 2008, Search for Common Ground is a project aimed at mitigating and preventing tensions within and among communities while creating space for dialogue. Some of the key issues addressed include land reform and land conflicts, Unity and reconciliation, youth engagement and employment, girls empowerment as well as capacity building.

RPBA is a Search for Common Ground aimed at increasing the knowledge and skills of radio broadcasters, particularly youth.

Source: allAfrica