There are 23 finalists from 14 countries:
- Lucas Ajanaku, TELL Magazine, Nigeria
- Barbara Angopa, NTV, Uganda
- Deji Badmus, Channels Television, Nigeria
- Marjorie Copeland, Freelance for Marie Claire, South Africa
- Kennedy Gondwe, Freelance for Hone FM, Zambia
- John Grobler, Freelance for The Namibian, Namibia
- Israel Laryea, Joy FM, Ghana
- Fernando Lima, Jornal Savana, Mozambique
- Emmanuel Mayah, Sun Newspaper, Nigeria
- Mwondoshah Mfanga, The Guardian, Tanzania
- Richard Mgamba, Sunday Citizen Newspaper, Tanzania
- Peter Moyo, e.tv, South Africa
- Bamuturaki Musinguzi, The EastAfrican Newspaper, Uganda
- Mutwiri Mutuota, Kenya Times, Kenya
- Boniface Mwangi, The Standard , Kenya
- Koumouréoua Issa Napon, Radio Télévision du Burkina, Burkina Faso
- Evaline Ngono, Cameroun Radio Télévision, Cameroun
- Daniel Nkrumah, Daily Graphic, Ghana
- Godwin Nnanna, BusinessDay, Nigeria
- Nassima Oulebsir, Le Jeune Indépendant, Algeria
- Hopewell Rugoho-Chin’ono, Television International, for Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, Zimbabwe
- Seyoum Tsehaye, Eritrea
- Sasha Wales-Smith, Special Assignment, SABC, South Africa
The winners of the competition will be announced at a gala awards ceremony in The State Banquet Hall, Osu, Accra, Ghana on Saturday, 19 July.
The hosts for the evening will be CNN correspondent Zain Verjee, joined on stage by popular Nigerian TV personality and talk show host, Soni Irabor.
Announcing the finalists, Azubuike Ishiekwene said: “”I have followed the CNN MultiChoice Awards for the past four years and watched them grow steadily to become the gold standard of excellence in journalism awards on the African continent, especially for young professionals who want to make a difference. Increasingly, the entries are speaking to the continent’s needs, and the echoes are far-reaching.”
The independent judging panel, chaired by Azubuike Ishiekwene, Executive Director, Punch Nigeria Limited, includes:
- Ferial Haffajee, Editor-in-Chief, Mail & Guardian, South Africa;
- Joel Kibazo, Journalist and Media Consultant;
- Arlindo Lopes, Secretary General of SABA – Southern African Broadcasting Association;
- Sophie Ly Sow, Regional Communications Officer for Oxfam / West Africa;
- Kim Norgaard, CNN’s Johannesburg Bureau Chief;
- Brahima Ouedraogo, Senior Radio Reporter/Producer, Radio Nationale du Burkina;
- Anna Umbima, journalist and broadcaster, and;
- Filipe Correia de Sá, Senior Producer at BBC World Service – brought in to help judge the Portuguese-speaking category.
The competition is held in partnership with MultiChoice, and in collaboration with The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Official sponsors include: Celtel; Coca-Cola Africa; Ecobank; Ghana Tourist Board; Holiday Inn Accra; IPP Media, Tanzania; MIH Print Africa; Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD); Safebond Africa Ltd; Global Media Alliance and Camerapix.
Tony Maddox, executive vice president and managing director of CNN International said: “Each year we see a healthy increase in entries for the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards from a diverse array of countries across the continent. The quality and excellence of the work submitted continues to rise year on year, ensuring that the 2008 competition maintains its place as the most prestigious Pan African Awards for journalists”.
Nolo Letele, CEO of MultiChoice South Africa said: “MultiChoice is once again proud to be partnering with CNN, to host this year’s CNN MultiChoice African Journalist of the Year Awards. We believe the media is a catalyst in building democracies and has played a critical role in various challenges faced by nations in Africa. The quality of the entries to this year’s awards has been very encouraging. We congratulate all the finalists and look forward to attending the event to be held in Ghana this year.”