Top journalists win key awards at African Women in the Media (AWiM19) conference

Top journalists win key awards at African Women in the Media (AWiM19) conference

The largest gathering of African Women in the Media (AWiM19) was in Nairobi, Kenya this week and brought together top journalists from across the continent.

The annual event whose aim is to impact positively the way media functions in relation to women drew hundreds of media professionals from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana, Ethiopia, Burundi, Nigeria, South Sudan, South Africa, Somalia, U.S. Sweden and the U.K.

— African Women Media (@RealAWiM) July 25, 2019

During the opening ceremony at the University of Nairobi, AWiM co-founder Dr. Yemisi Akinbobola paid tribute to the late Hodan Nalayeh, founder of Integration TV, who was killed in Somalia.

“I was fortunate to interview Hodan in March for our podcast Her Media Diary. She spoke to me about being a media entrepreneur, investing in yourself, and changing narratives about Africa and about African women,” Dr. Yemisi said.


The AWiM co-founder also launched the Changing Narratives Award in honour of the late Hodan who had recently moved from Canada to work in Somalia and tell positive stories of ingenuity and audacity.

Kenyan Government representative at the conference, Mr. Mukhtar Ogle of the Executive Office of the Presidency, accepted the posthumous award on behalf of Hodan’s family and Integration TV which is based in Canada.

— Stephanie Busari (@StephanieBusari) July 25, 2019

Anna Nimiriano from South Sudan, who was recently announced the 2019 WAN-IFRA Africa Laureate, was also at the conference and intimated how she has ‘paid the price of journalism’ but continues to fight for the inclusion of women.

“I called a certain man to share the good news when I was named editor-in-chief of the Juba Monitor and he laughed at me but I don’t care what you say about me, I care about my work,” she told the audience.


— African Women Media (@RealAWiM) July 25, 2019

Dr. Akinbobola noted that the theme of the third edition of the AWiM conference was to showcase amazing work produced by African women working in various media industries from film to journalism, marketing and many more.

Different speakers at the three-day conference in Nairobi addressed topics such as gender gaps, film and innovation, business of media, gender gaps and and global movements, technology and independence of journalists.

— African Women Media (@RealAWiM) July 25, 2019

AWiM conferences are based on three pillars: knowledge transfer between industry and academia, economic empowerment of women and visibility.

Last year, the AWiM conference was held at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria while in 2017 it was held in the U.K. Dr. Akinbobola revealed that next year’s conference will be held in South Africa.

“What started out as a Facebook group in 2016 has become a lighthouse and a platform where women in media can inspire, support and empower each other,” she said.


On Saturday, the AWiM19 awards ceremony held at the Hilton Hotel in Nairobi recognised outstanding efforts by female journalists in different fields.

Two Kenyans; Mary Mwendwa and Christabel Ligami won the Silencing the Guns Award and Free Trade Migration Award respectively.

Mwendwa, a freelance journalist, was awarded for her efforts in writing about conflict and the inclusion of women in peace processes.

Ligami, who writes for the Daily Nation and the East African newspapers, was recognised for her writing on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

— African Women Media (@RealAWiM) July 27, 2019

Zahara Tunda from Tanzania won the African Union (AU) Free Trade Sustainability Award. Other winners include Culton Scovia (Uganda) who won the African Passport and Free Movement of People Award and Vincensia Fuko (Tanzania).

— African Women Media (@RealAWiM) July 27, 2019