TNT journalist wins COMESA media award

A business reporter with The New Times, Peterson Tumwebaze, is one of the two regional winners of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Media Awards this year.

The COMESA Secretariat in Lusaka, Zambia on Tuesday announced the two winners: Tumwebaze of The New Times of Rwanda and Herrsha Lutchman of The Bizweek, Mauritius.

The two were earlier announced during the 37th COMESA Council of Ministers meeting held in Lusaka Zambia.

“It is motivating and encouraging, as a journalist,” Tumwebaze said, on getting the news.

He added: “That [reporting] is my job and therefore always strive to make a contribution to society. And of course, I would like to encourage all journalists across the region to focus on those areas that will help fast track development in Africa.

“This is how we can make our contribution towards reducing poverty on the continent. They should strive towards making a contribution to the economic development of the region; this is how we change societies as journalists.”

Tumwebaze’s winning entry was on the COMESA Local Sourcing Project, whose objective was to promote business linkages between local producers and buyers in the region.

The project encourages corporate firms to buy most of their supplies locally. The project was piloted by the COMESA Business Council in six member States.

During the council meeting, the ministers approved rewards to the two journalists which include sponsorship to attend and cover the next COMESA Heads of State Summit, a cash reward, a trophy and a certificate. 

The journalists will receive the awards during the Summit expected early next year.

Entries for the awards were those published in 2016 and were received from 11 out of the 19 COMESA Member States including Burundi, D R Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Seychelles, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

At the same time, COMESA Secretariat has issued a call for submission of entries to the 2018 COMESA Media Awards.

Journalists from the 19 Member States are invited to submit entries published between 1 January 2017 and 31 December 2017.

The objective of the COMESA Media Awards is to promote reporting of COMESA regional integration activities and recognize journalists whose works contribute to the integration agenda. The awards are open to journalists from the 19 COMESA Member States.

Herrsha’s article addressed the political challenges that face regional trade despite the existence of frameworks such as the Tripartite Free Trade Area.