The awardees with their awards
RFPA Feature: 2012 Radio for Peacebuilding Africa Awards Ceremony
On October 18, Search for Common Ground recognized, for the second time, high quality programmes that contribute to peace in Africa. The Awards Ceremony honoured three journalists from Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ghana, who won the 2012 Radio for Peacebuilding Africa Awards competition. Speaking about the RFPA awards, Mr. Narcisse Kalisa, Search for Common Ground Program Director, said, “We believe in the power of Radio as a tool for peacebuilding. Journalists are our key partners on this initiative.”
The competition, organised as part of Search for Common Ground’s Radio for Peacebuilding Africa Project (RFPA), was open to all radios in Africa. Applications were accepted in three categories: Gender, Youth and Jury’s Special Award.
Winner of the Gender Awards, Hortence Iradukunda (left)
Winner of the Youth Award (left)
The Gender Award this year went to Ms Hortence Iradukunda, a journalist from Burundi. Her program titled “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. The winner in this year’s Youth category was Mr.Baron Nkoy from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Mr Nkoy’s program is an episode of the show Bloc Notes, titled “Camps Luca.” Camps Luca discusses a community with the same name in Kinshasa that is suffering from water shortages. This year’s winner of the Jury’s Special Award was the Ghanean Producer Umaru Sanda Amadu and his program titled “The Fulani Revealed.” The winning programme discussed the state of Fulani living in Ghana: who they are and the discrimination that they face.
Visiting local radio stations while in Kigali for the awards ceremony
During their visit to Rwanda for the ceremony, the journalists visited Radio Ishingiro, a community radio station in the north of Rwanda for an exchange of ideas. In Kigali, they met with the staff of “Radio 10” which is one of the most popular stations in the country. The Awards Ceremony took place at the Hotel Umubano in Kigali. Ms Iradukunda later wrote, “I could not believe my eyes when I saw how big [the room] was, with lots of people already filing in. The Ishyo [comedy] group provided the show for the ceremony before handing out the awards. It has been a long time since I felt this way: all eyes were on us, everybody listening to us and looking at us. I remember the silence that surrounded the great room as I was talking about the background of my programme. I myself almost started to cry!” About receiving the Award, Mr Umaru said: "I am very happy that I was able to highlight a problem that can even be found in other communities."
Winner of the Jury's Special Award, Umaru Sanda Amadu
As for what the Awards meant for them as journalists and how it will affect their work, Mr. Nkoy said that “after my trip to Kigali, I think things won’t be the same in my profession because when I think of myself as a journalist, I know I have a role to play in the political tension that takes place between my country, the DRC and Rwanda, the country that welcomed me for the Awards Ceremony. As a journalist, I am convinced that I have to contribute to the culture of peace and to the transformation of conflicts through my work.”
Once again, congratulations to all the winners and a big thank you to all the participants!
The RFPA Team
To listen to the winning programmes, visit the RFPA website audio section