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Winners Emerge at 2020 Pan African Re/Insurance Journalism Awards

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By Odimegwu Onwumere

Pan African Re/Insurance Journalism Awards championed by Continental Re Plc has on May 27, announced winners of their fifth year awards at a virtual awards ceremony following travel restrictions occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year’s award ceremony, as according to a source, was scheduled to take place during the Continental Re’s7thCEO Summit in Morocco, but for the pandemic.

A statement from the firm’s media relations, stated, “Leading Pan African Reinsurance firm, Continental Reinsurance Plc, has honoured winners of its 2020 Pan African Re/Insurance Journalism Awards at a virtual awards ceremony following travel restrictions occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

According to a press statement by Alexandra MacLaine, Media Relations Executive, International|Autofutures: a DMA company, journalists across Africa are being honoured through the Pan African Re/Insurance Journalism Awards.

The statement said that five winners were picked from 77 entries that were submitted by business reporters from 15 French and English-countries under the four categories: Best re/insurance Print Article, Best re/insurance Online Article, Best re/insurance Broadcast Article and Best re/insurance French Article – print/online/broadcast.

“In the fifth edition of these prestigious awards, five winners were picked from 77 entries that were submitted by business reporters from 15 French and English-countries under the four categories: Best re/insurance Print Article, Best re/insurance Online Article, Best re/insurance Broadcast Article and Best re/insurance French Article – print/online/broadcast,” the statement said.

However, journalists from Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Francophone countries topped the list with “Isaac Khisa (The Independent, Uganda), emerging the Best re/insurance Print Article [English category]. His story, titled ‘Across Sub-Saharan Africa, tech-enabled micro-insurance is the next big thing” which describes how insurance firms can leverage on the growing mobile phone subscription to extend insurance services to the low income earners who are, in most cases, not catered for under the current conventional insurance services.

“David Njagi, a freelance journalist from Kenya, bagged the award for the Best re/insurance Online Article [English category]for his feature Voice of resilience: Kenyan radio builds herders’ trust in drought insurance”, which was published in Thomson Reuters. The story focuses on how a community-based radio is helping Northern Kenya understand and learn how to benefit from Islamic weather insurance (Takaful).

“The award for the Best re/insurance Broadcast Article [English category] went to Destiny Onyemihia (Voice of Nigeria, Nigeria) for his story, “Sustaining businesses through cyber insurance” that explores how businesses can sustain their operations in the midst of the rising cyber threats and attacks in the country.

“Joel Assoko (Jeune Afrique Media Group, France) emerged the winner for the Best re/insurance French Article – print/online/broadcast. In his story, ‘‘La guerre des assureurs aura bien lieu’’ (Original French title of the article that could be translated as ‘Indeed, the War among Insurers will take place’).Joel explains about a profession which is not well known or understood in Africa, and is usually mentioned only in critical and negative situations. Yet, it is still a vital pillar for African economies, one that can promote balanced growth and ensure a better future. The aim was to allow the general public get more familiar with the crucial changes occurring within the industry.

“The Future Talent Award was won by Dominic Omondi (The Standard Group, Kenya) for his inspiring article titled “How doctors are dragging medical insurers to early grave” that addresses the issue of perverse incentives, and how insurance companies in Kenya have sunk into losses as healthcare providers inflate their charges. This award was recommended by the judges to recognise the outstanding entry among the four categories. It replaces the existing pan-African re/insurance Journalist of the Year Award.”

It was gathered that the “Future Talent Award was recommended by the judges to recognise the outstanding entry among the four categories. It replaces the existing pan-African re/insurance Journalist of the Year Award.”

Before the awards ceremony, there was “a unique live panel discussion on the Covid-19 pandemic, insurance regulators from Kenya, Nigeria and Zimbabwe debating its effect on African insurance markets.”

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