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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Zambian wins science journalism grant

Zambian science journalist, Mr. Talent Ng'andwe, has been named the recipient of the first International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and Science Development Network (SciDev.Net) Science Journalism Award worth CAD$60,000 (US$53,000) about , will allow Ng'andwe to work with the Science and Development Network (SciDev.Net) for several months to develop his professional skills as a science journalist.

Marketing Manager at SciDev.Net, Jemima Tonks, informed our correspondent that dduring grant period he would spend time working both in the organisation's main office and reporting from the developing world.

Reacting to the grant, elated Ng’andwe expresses hope that he would be working among learned science journalists, declared, "I am delighted to receive the award” he said.

Mr. Ng’andwe also praised the organisers and partners of the grant, describing the grant as a means of bridging the gap in developing nations, especially on the African continent.

"This is a step in the right direction to help build the capacity of science journalists in developing countries," he asserted.

Director, SciDev.Net, Mr. David Dickson, equally expressed delight that Talent Ng'andwe was selected to receive the award, which will allow him to work directly with SciDev.Net news team for several months in the year 2007.

"He will be bringing to us his insights and personal experience developed through his work as a journalist in Zambia. In return, we will be able to provide him with an opportunity to develop his practical skills as a science journalist," he enlightened.

The award is one of four granted this year by IDRC and SciDev.Net, on an experimental basis. Applications were invited by SciDev.Net from regular contributors to the website.

Mr. Ng'andwe will be based at SciDev.Net in London, United Kingdom; two Francophone journalists will be based at Agence Science-Presse in Montreal, Canada; and a Canadian English-speaking journalist will be based at another institution. Each award will be valued at US$53,000 to cover living and travel expenses.

IDRC has created these awards to "foster a vibrant culture of science journalism" and to "promote a field-based understanding of developing countries' scientific realities".

The journalists will spend time in a number of developing countries and take part in the 5th World Conference of Science Journalists, taking place in Australia, in April 2007.

SciDev.Net looks forward to the lessons about science communication in developing countries that it will learn, and be able to share with its readers, through the award programme. IDRC is funding this new award through its training and awards programme while its being managed and administered by SciDev.Net.

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