Nigerian Journalist Odimegwu Onwumere Wins Pan African Journalist Of The Year Award

Odimegwu Onwuwere, a journalist with AFRICA PRIME NEWS has bagged the Pan African Journalist of the Year Award for the 2018 Pan African Re/Insurance Journalism Awards sponsored by Continental Reinsurance. He is based in Port Harcourt, south-south Nigeria.

{Odimegwu Onwumere making a speach at the awards ceremony}

A statement by Ceciliah KimuyuSenior Account Manager at Continental Reinsurance PLC, said there were three categories of the awards but Onwumere emerged the overall winner.

Onwumere’s winning article titled, Africa emerging new frontier in the reinsurance markets investigates how foreign insurers that once rebuked Africa due to economic instability are now swarming for businesses on the continent because the sector is becoming alluring and dynamic due to unswerving GDP growth.

A Business and Data Journalist with Standard Group Kenya, Otiato Guguyu won the Best Re/Insurance Industry Feature Article for his story, Business of protecting wealth from drought that talks about how an insurance scheme that was introduced in the dry regions of Kenya is cushioning farmers from losses; while Adenike Popoola, Chief Correspondent of Nigeria’s The Punch newspaper emerged the winner for Best Re/Insurance Industry Analysis and Commentary for her article, Foreigners taking over Nigerian insurance industrywhich discusses how the recapitalisation trend is transforming the insurance industry and its expectations in the future.

Also Gareth Stokes, a seasoned financial journalist working with Commercial Risk Africa (CRA) in South Africa won a special award in recognition of his exemplary contribution to Re/ Insurance journalism and was recommended to become a judge in future editions. Gareth emerged the Pan African Journalist of the Year in 2017 awards.

{Odimegwu Onwumere in a group picture with other recipients and two of the judges}

The winners were announced at a Gala dinner held during Continental Reinsurance’s CEO Summit held on April 9th 2018 in Swakopmund, Namibia.

Speaking at the award ceremony, Dr. Femi Oyetunji, Continental Reinsurance’s Group Managing Director noted, “The Pan-African Re/Insurance Journalism Awards are an extension of our continued commitment to advance excellence in the sector. I am glad this year’s entries not only improved in quality, but they also came from a wider range of countries, and with more diverse insurance topics being featured by journalists. We will be including two new categories in next year’s Awards – for broadcast and online entries, and I would like to encourage TV, radio and online journalists to participate.”

According to the statement,  winners will win a combination of financial and practical training prizes to include… The overall winner will also win a fully-paid trip to attend CRA’s training in London, UK including a one-week internship.

The third edition of the journalism awards received 61 entrants from 15 English and French speaking countries including: Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Ghana, Namibia, Mauritius and Zambia for Anglophones; Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Senegal, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo and Togo for Francophones.

The entries were assessed and evaluated by an independent panel of judges, which comprised of 5 insurance and business media experts: Nadia Mensah Acogny, Journalist, Forbes Afrique; Tony van Niekerk, Editor, Cover Publications; Afif Ben Yedder, Founder, IC Publications; Michael Wilson, Business & Finance Journalist and Kenneth Igbomor, Market News Editor (West Africa), CNBC Africa.

{Odimegwu Onwumere receiving the award from the Director-CEO of Continental Reinsurance PLC Dr Femi Oyetunji}

I have had the honour of being a judge for two consecutive years, and I would like to note that the quality of entries has significantly improved. There were also more contenders for the top scores than there were last year, which is encouraging progress,’’ noted Nadia Mensah Acogny, Chairperson of the 2018 Judging Panel.

Commenting on the French entries, Ms. Nadia said, “There are many excellent francophone journalists on the continent, who should rise and compete with their fellow business journalists by participating in these awards. I would like to encourage French writers to submit their entries for the 2019 awards.”

{Odimegwu Onwumere with the Director-CEO of Continental Reinsurance PLC Dr Femi Oyetunji}

Continental Reinsurance initiated the journalism awards in 2015 to recognise and acknowledge the good work of media on the continent. Journalists are required to demonstrate how their articles raised awareness and understanding of the re/insurance sector in Africa.

Continental Reinsurance is a composite reinsurer, writing business in more than 50 countries across the African continent. Established in 1985 and listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in 2007, Continental Reinsurance provides support to over 200 insurance companies in Africa with its main offices in Nigeria, Cameroon, Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, Tunisia and Botswana.  It also has a specialist subsidiary – Continental Property and Engineering Risk Services (CPERS) – registered in South Africa.

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