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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Remmy Nweke bags Deutsche Welle, FOSSFA Reporter award 2010



Lead Content Strategist at ITRealms Online and Senior Reporter and Head of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) desk at Champion Newspapers Limited, Lagos-Nigeria,Remmy Nweke, has bagged the first-ever African Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) Reporter award.

The award which was the first of its kind by the Free and Open Source Foundation for Africa (FOSSFA) and Deutsche Welle (DW) under FOSSWAY project, was presented to Mr. Nweke in Accra, Tuesday night by the Director, Deutsche Welle Online, Mr. Thomas Bastian in company of FOSSFA chairperson, Ms Nnenna Nwakanma, as part of the weeklong fourth Idlelo conference organized at the State House, Banquet Hall, Accra.

Speaking at the ceremony, chairperson, FOSSFA, Ms Nwakanma noted that the award was open to Africans living on the continent, authors of articles or broadcasts that were published or aired in the last two years and were also made available both in the traditional media and new media.

Winning entries, she pointed out was an article described as valuable to an African audience, which showed clarity in communication and significantly explaining, interpreting and reporting the impact of FOSS on the development of Africa and recognizing newsworthiness thereof.

Therefore, she said that Mr. Nweke’s piece on ‘Open Source as business solution’ met the aforementioned criterion based on the voices reflected and juries declaration, therefore, it was pronounced the best.

She also promised that FOSSFA would continue to support African media practitioners, even as she solicited for more reportage on the activities of group on the continent.

Also speaking, Mr. Bastian of DW said that they are partnering on the media award project because Africa is very important continent to them, disclosing that the winning article was well articulated and would be serialized in one of their projects in Latin America and particularly Brazil to showcase the kind of efforts Africans are making in FOSS adaptation.

He equally congratulated Mr. Nweke accompanied by his wife and a professional journalist, Nkemdilim, for coming up with the award winning piece and urged him to keep up the touch.

The Chief executive, Mandriva West Africa, Mr. Dele Ajisomo, in his congratulatory message, said that Nigeria is proud of Mr. Nweke’s achievements on the continent and asked him to remain steadfast.

Mr. Nweke is not new to professional prizes as he had in the past won the Siemens African Profile Award for 2004 and 2005; thus becoming the first Nigerian to win such awards on excellence in science and technology reporting twice in addition to a merit awarded him in 2008.

In addition, he is a pioneer Nigerian editorial board member of the Highway Africa News Agency (HANA) based at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa, and won the second prize in Local Content Application category at the African Information Society Initiative (AISI) awards in 2005 organized by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

In 2006, Mr. Nweke was honour with the Hewlett Packard (HP) Nigeria’s top prize for Nigerian ICT journalists in technology reporting, whereas he was the first runner up in the Nigerian IT & Telecom Awards print category.

Currently, a Master of Arts student of University of Malta in Contemporary Diplomacy, Nweke was at the Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP-07) in Malaysia, where he took the second prize in ICT Research and Innovations category of AISI.

While at the 10th Highway Africa conference-06, he was adjudged the SABC-HANA Journalist of the Year in recognition and promotion of creative, innovative and appropriate use of new media technology on the continent, even as he emerged the Publicity Secretary, Nigeria Internet Group (NIG) a not-profit organisation.

A founding member of the Joint Action Committee on ICT Awareness (JACITAD) and focal point for the African ICTMedia for Nigeria, Mr. Nweke, and last year was nominated into the International WHO'S WHO of Professionals in 2009 Edition.

The ceremony was graced by the Director, ICT at ECOWAS secretariat Abuja, Dr. Sola Afolabi who also represented the Ghanaian Minister of Communications, Mr. Haruna Idrisu as chairman of the occasion, former Microsoft Country Manager for West Africa, Mr. Chinenye Mba-Uzoukwu, Developers Team Leader, Microsoft West Africa, Mr. Ken Spann, one of the fathers of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in Latin America, Mr. Jon Hall, General Manager, Zain Ghana, Director-General Kofi Annan Indian Centre of Excellence in ICT, Ms Dorothy Gordon among FOSSFA council and members across the continent and partners.


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