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November 29, 2023 (DJIBOUTI, Djibouti): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) held the awarding ceremony for its Media Awards 2023 contest on November 26 in Djibouti, a first of its kind in the history of the regional organisation.

Out of the 105 entries in the various categories of the Awards competition, which are television, radio, print, blog and photojournalism from media practitioners for the IGAD region and beyond, 14 were recognised as winners in their categories during this first Edition of the Annual IGAD Media Awards.

Speaking on the occasion, IGAD Executive Secretary, Dr Workneh Gebeyehu, said: “Today marks another historic moment for IGAD as we gather for the first-ever Annual IGAD Media Awards Ceremony. This event not only celebrates the outstanding achievements of our award-winning journalists across the region but also inaugurates the IGAD Media Awards initiative, a testament to our commitment to recognising and encouraging excellence in truth-telling across our region. This year, we proudly recognize 14 winners, including producers, journalists, reporters, bloggers, and photojournalists, who have excelled in their craft, shedding light on this years’ theme on the benefits of ‘Cooperation for resilience against effects of drought’.”

Addressing the winners, Dr Workneh stated: “Journalists are the guardians of truth, the champions of transparency, and advocates of accountability. You play a crucial role in exposing realities, shaping narratives, and recording history for posterity. You are the pillars of a thriving democracy and the voice of the voiceless”.

The Secretary General of the Ministry of Communication of Djibouti, speaking on behalf of the minister, took the floor: “Let me first express my gratitude to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) for its continued commitment to strengthening cooperation between our nations. Through this initiative, IGAD once again demonstrates its constant support for the development of the media in our region. Today’s honourees are not only talented women and men in their profession, but also catalysts for change who transcend borders to unite our people. On this momentous occasion, I encourage each of you to continue to practice your profession with ethics, integrity and passion. You are the architects of the Fourth Estate, and your role in promoting democracy and justice cannot be underestimated”.

As IGAD Executive Secretary wrapped up the event in the presence of the Ambassador of Kenya to Djibouti and IGAD, it was agreed upon that the Awarding Ceremony for the IGAD Media Awards 2024 will be held in Kenya.

Follow the link to access the stories of the winning participants:

BackgroundBuilding strategic partnerships with the media is deemed critical to the successful attainment of the IGAD Vision – “A resilient, peaceful, prosperous and integrated region where citizens enjoy high quality of life”. The media in the member states plays a critical role in raising awareness of the opportunities and benefits of multilateralism and regional approach to address the shared challenges, risks, and threats.

Through the IGAD Media Awards, the Secretariat and partners intend to:

  • Recognise and reward excellence in reporting on issues related to resilience to drought in the region;
  • Inspire journalists in the region to report more on issues surrounding drought in the region;
  • Promote investigative journalism and accuracy as well as creativity and innovation in presenting information about drought, resilience, and food security; and
  • Encourage journalists to involve centres of excellence in science, technology and innovation from inside and outside the region to shed light on the persistent and frequent drought and associated food insecurity in the region.

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