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A Competition for African Journalists sponsored by African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) in cooperation with the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA)

Posted by AFJACC on May 3, 2013 at 10:40 AM

The Role of African Women in Agriculture

A Competition for African Journalists sponsored by  African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD)  in cooperation with  the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA)  Sixth Africa Agriculture Science Week

“Africa Feeding Africa through Agricultural Science and Innovation”

July 15-20, 2013

Accra, Ghana

 About AWARD

African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) is a career-development program that equips top women scientists across sub-Saharan Africa to accelerate agricultural gains by strengthening their research and leadership skills, through tailored fellowships. AWARD is a catalyst for innovations with high potential to contribute to the prosperity and well-being of African smallholder farmers, most of whom are women.

 AWARD believes that critical advances and innovations in agricultural development for Africa are led and enriched by the contributions of capable, confident, and influential African women. We aim to see the agricultural research and development sector demonstrating increasing responsiveness to the needs and contributions of African women.

 Launched in 2008, AWARD has provided two-year fellowships to 320 African women scientists from 11 countries (Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia). This year, in partnership with CORAF/WECARD and Agropolis Fondation, AWARD launched a francophone pilot program benefiting five women agricultural scientists in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, and Senegal. The program focuses on mentoring partnerships, science skills, and leadership development.

 AWARD is generously supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, United States Agency for International Development, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, and Agropolis Fondation. For more information, please visit:

 Women in Agriculture

The work and contribution of AWARD Fellows are a striking example of how Africa is feeding Africa through agricultural science for development. The Sixth Africa Agriculture Science

Week provides an amazing opportunity to highlight the achievements and potential of African women in both science and innovation.

To send a powerful message about women in agriculture, both to delegates at the Sixth Africa Agriculture Science Week and the wider public in Africa and beyond, AWARD is sponsoring an international media competition for African journalists in sub-Saharan Africa.

The competition calls for the submission of a written article or radio feature on one of two themes outlined below. A judging panel chosen by AWARD will appraise the entries, and two winners (one print/web-based, one radio) will be awarded fully funded attendance at the Sixth Africa Agriculture Science Week, including travel costs, accommodation, per diem, and registration fees, in recognition of their journalistic achievement.

 Background: Africa Agricultural Science Week

The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) will host the Sixth Africa Agriculture Science Week from July 15-20, 2013 in Accra, Ghana. Held every three years, the event will bring together African and non-African institutions involved in African agricultural research and development, including research and educational institutions, national agricultural research systems, international agricultural research centers, NGOs, policy makers, the private sector, and many more. The central theme of the 2013 event is “Africa Feeding Africa through Agricultural Science and Innovation.”

For more information, visit:

 Media Competition Entry Requirements

I. Eligibility

 The competition is open to all media and communication professionals (either print/web-based, or radio) who are citizens of sub-Saharan African countries and are from established media houses, private- or public-sector organizations (e.g. national research and CGIAR centers), or non-governmental organizations, including farmer organizations. Freelance journalists are also eligible.

II. Submission Format

i. Entries must be original pieces written in English only.

ii. Previously published pieces will not be accepted.

iii. The piece should be based on interviews and research from the country or region in which the journalist/media specialist is operating.

iv. Each candidate will submit only one print (in word doc or docx format) or audio piece (in mp3 format). Entries are to be submitted by email to  [email protected] .

Print word limit: Maximum 1,200 words. Font: Arial, 11 point; 1.5 line spacing.

Audio pieces: Maximum five minutes.

v. All applicants must submit a cover page containing the article title and author’s name, along with a short biographical note including name and full contact details: email address, telephone number(s), postal address, town, country, and a scanned photocopy of the author’s identification card or passport sent as a jpeg.

 Note: if you have difficulty submitting your audio piece by email, you can use YouSendit ( or a similar free Internet service.

III. Deadline

 The deadline for receipt of submissions is midnight GMT, Friday June 7, 2013. Entries are to be submitted to [email protected]. Entries received after June 7 will not be considered. Notification of approved selections will be announced after Monday June 17, 2013.

Additional Details

AWARD reserves the right to disqualify any entry if it does not meet the contest criteria and present regulations.

• By entering, participants warrant that their print/audio materials are original and do not infringe on any third party’s rights.

• Contest entry constitutes an agreement to allow AWARD to publicize contestants’ names, occupations, countries, and to publish entries.

• Contest entry also constitutes an agreement to allow AWARD to use the material in its publications and in promotional activities. Applicants will retain ownership and all other rights to future use of their material.

• If, for any reason, the competition is not completed as planned, AWARD reserves the right at its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend it.

• The decisions made by the panel of judges are final and beyond dispute.

 All participants in this competition implicitly accept the rules presented in this document.

IV. Competition Themes

 Based on interviews with women in agricultural science, smallholder farmers, and other related experts/sources, your journalistic piece should correspond to one of the following themes:

1. Women-to-women agriculture: How are African women agricultural scientists contributing to Africa feeding Africa, through the development of new technologies and methodologies, as well as innovative ways of getting information to the continent’s smallholder farmers, most of whom are women? (Reference to at least one AWARD Fellow or AWARD Mentor should be included in the final article/radio feature.)

2. Mentoring a new generation: How are AWARD Fellows working with their AWARD Mentors to make the most of their potential as women scientists? In what different ways does having a mentor benefit a scientist, and how does being an AWARD Fellow help women scientists progress in a male-dominated profession? Are there particular advantages to investing in women scientists, and how does this boost the quality of agricultural science in Africa as a whole?

Note: For referrals to AWARD Fellows and AWARD Mentors in 15 countries across Africa, please contact Karen Homer, AWARD Communications Manager - [email protected]

V. Selection Process


A panel of judges will review entries and decide on the winners in the print/web-based and radio categories. The pieces should demonstrate that the author(s) understand the issues outlined above.

The main selection criteria for the pieces are:

 • originality, structure, and quality of writing/broadcast piece

• creativity and color (use of relevant interviews and examples to illustrate the issues)

• variety of voices/quotes used

• quality of language (engaging writing/radio style, accurate spelling and grammar, etc.)

• respect of the prescribed format

 VI. Presentation of Prizes

 The best print/web-based and the best audio journalistic piece will be selected using the criteria outlined. The winners will be notified after Monday June 17, 2013 by email or telephone, and will be fully supported to attend the Sixth Africa Agriculture Science Week, July 15-20, 2013 in Accra, Ghana. They will also each be presented with a certificate of recognition during the conference. In addition, they will be invited to report on sessions during the conference.

Besides the two winning entries, the top five selected pieces in each category will be published and promoted regionally, internationally, and on the AWARD website.

Karen Homer, Communications Manager Susanna Thorp, Director


Categories: Opportunities

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