The BBC has begun its annual search for Africa’s next journalism star – launching the 2018 BBC World News Komla Dumor Award from his homeland in Accra, Ghana. Journalists from across the continent are invited to apply for the prestigious prize – which aims to promote fresh journalism talent from Africa.
The award was set up to honour the memory of Komla Dumor, an exceptional Ghanaian broadcaster who died unexpectedly at the age of 41 in 2014. In his short life Komla made an extraordinary impact – in Ghana, in Africa and across the world – on Joy FM and at the BBC.
Through his tenacious journalism and compelling storytelling, he worked tirelessly to bring a more sophisticated African narrative to the world. The BBC is committed to continuing Komla’s legacy and, through this award, aims to empower a new generation of journalists from Africa to tell African stories to global audiences.
Previous winners of the BBC World News Komla Dumor Award are Nancy Kacungira from Uganda, Didi Akinyelure from Nigeria and Amina Yuguda also from Nigeria. All three winners used their time at the BBC to hone their journalism skills through training, workshops and mentorship. Working closely with leading talent within the BBC, the winners undertake a final project, travelling to Africa to report on a story that they have researched.
REPRESENTING: Nancy, Didi & Amina (Photo credit: BBC)
During her placement, Nancy Kacungira travelled to Ghana to report on diaspora Ghanaians who had decided to return to their roots. The following year, Didi Akinyelure went to the Ivory Coast to investigate new opportunities for the local chocolate manufacturing industry.
Last year’s winner, Amina Yuguda, reported from Uganda about why Lake Victoria is under threat of dying.
Amina said: “Being the winner of the 2017 BBC World News Komla Dumor Award felt like the beginning of my career. Getting an international platform, to be recognised at an international level, it’s like I arrived. During my placement, I learned the importance of truth, balance and fairness, and gained invaluable insights into how to give African stories a global appeal. We are proud of how Komla represented the continent to the world, and I feel honoured to be helping continue that legacy.”
Amina will take part in the 2018 launch event – which will take place in Accra, Ghana – alongside Jamie Angus, Director, BBC World Service Group.
Jamie said: “It’s an honour to be here in Ghana, in Komla’s homeland, amongst his family and his friends, to celebrate his legacy and find Africa’s next rising star in journalism.
“The three previous winners – Nancy, Didi and Amina – have all shown they’re talented journalists, with a deep-rooted understanding of the continent, and insights in how to improve engagement with local audiences. We’re looking forward to finding another exceptional journalist from the continent and welcoming them as the next BBC World News Komla Dumor Award winner.”
Now open for applications, entrants have until 23.59 (GMT) on 23rd March 2018 to submit. The winner will spend three months at the BBC headquarters in New Broadcasting House in London, gaining skills and experience.