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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Celtel supports Africans for CNN prize

Pan African telecommunications company, Celtel International, once again demonstrated support for finalists in the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist of the Year 2007, which ended recently.

The latest demonstration came in form of availing its subscribers on the continent to be part of voters in this year’s exercise, which was the first of its kind to facilitate their choice of winners at the prestigious awards.

Announcing this development, Chief Executive, Celtel International, Moez Daya, said that the offer enables more Africans to participate in selection of winners.

This is coming as Celtel sponsored the African Arts and Culture Award category of the annual CNN MultiChoice African Journalist of the Year.

According to Daya, the category is aimed at promoting excellence in reporting African arts and culture across the continent.

The pan African mobile operator offered more Africans the opportunity through Short Messaging Service (SMS) voting, which were sent to special short codes indicated on country basis.

He disclosed that some short listed candidates for the award category included Nigerian journalist, Justus Nwakanma of Champion Newspapers, Zambian Muwana Wamunyima of News and Information TV Services and South African Carte-Blanche’s staff Diana Lucas.

“We are proud to promote Africa’s rich cultural heritage. Celtel’s support of African arts and culture extends beyond the CNN African journalist awards. It also covers a range of other initiatives including an extensive music sponsorship programme which includes the prestigious Pearl of Africa Music Awards in East Africa, the Sounds of Wisdom (Sauti za Busaara) festival in Zanzibar, the Premier Music Awards in Sierra Leone and Gabon ’s Gabao Hip-Hop festival,” he said.

Daya also said that Celtel’s sponsorship policy is focused on the promotion of African arts and culture across the continent as part of the company’s commitment to develop Africa’s talent, adding that Celtel sponsored several talent development programmes such as Star Search in Zambia and Pop Idols in Nigeria.

Daya further informed that last year awards ceremony was held in Maputo , Mozambique and the prize was won by Victoria Cullinan of South Africa who works for Carte Blanche, M-Net.

Celtel presently has presence in 15 African countries, including Nigeria, which covers more than a third of the population on the continent.

Initially known as MSI Cellular Investment, it was changed to Celtel International based on the name of the holding company in January 2004 and claims strong record of investment and growth on the continent.

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