Journalist from Burkina Faso awarded with Zimeo Award for reporting on Sustainable Development Goals

Dec 28, 2016

Nourou-Dhine Salouka has almost 10 years of experience working in the media sector.

Journalist Nourou-Dhine Salouka was awarded with Zimeo Award for Excellence in Reporting on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on 8 December, in Nairobi, Kenya. From Burkina Faso, Salouka won the SDGs Reporting category with his news article about Samandollé, a small village in Burkina Faso that is struggling with scarce water resources and sanitation services.

Salouka’s article was praised for its uniqueness and storytelling and also received high scores for relevance and impact. It was published in touteinfo.com, a news provider in Burkina Faso, in June last year.

Salouka was doing interviews for another article when he came across Samandollé. He wanted to draw authorities’ attention to the village and to hundreds of other villages in the area that are deprived of any modern conveniences.

“Winning the Zimeo Award is a great pride for me because a panel of high level professionals have judged my work as satisfactory. It is also comforting because many colleagues in Burkina Faso find that writing about development issues is not rewarding for journalist,” said Nourou-Dhine Salouka.

Nourou-Dhine Salouka has almost 10 years of experience working in the media sector. Since 2015, Salouka has been working as a freelance journalist and consultant in knowledge management and communication specialising on development issues and sports.

“In a country where 80 percent of the population lives in rural areas and do not speak the official language, role of journalism goes beyond the strict limits of dissemination of information. I work mainly on rural issues to help clarify challenges that affect the lives of the majority of people living in Burkina Faso,” Salouka said.

The award in SDGs Reporting, sponsored by UNDP Regional Service Centre for Africa, is given to a journalist who has consistently, diligently and accurately focused resources on driving the SDGs narrative with the objective to help citizens understand the relevance of the Goals and how societies are working to implement them.

“It is important to support individual journalists to strengthen Africa’s media sector. Stories and news need to be told to promote the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals,” said UNDP Africa’s Regional Programme Coordinator Mohamed Yahya.

Zimeo Awards strengthen Africa’s brand of journalism

Salouka’s article was scored as best from 18 other articles published by journalists around Africa, such as Benin, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Uganda and Zambia.

Journalists could apply for the Awards by submitting articles written in English, French, Kiswahili, Portuguese or Arabic. They were scored by judges John Patrick Mireny, Managing Director of Strategic Connexion, a consultancy on media related issues and activities, Bernard Tabaire, Director of Programmes at African Centre for Media Excellence, and Professor Laeed Zaghlami from the Algiers University 3.

The Zimeo Awards recognise excellence in journalism and other media-related activities in Africa. Journalists apply for the Awards in 15 categories, such as health, women’s rights, and education.

Awarded once a year, the prizes are granted to meritorious individuals and organizations that, in their writings, productions or support for media development, demonstrate the highest standards of professionalism, focus, and impact.

Launched in November 2015, the Zimeo Awards are organised by the African Media Initiative (AMI), a pan-African organisation that seeks to strengthen the continent’s private and independent media sector to promote democratic governance, social development, and economic growth. Zimeo Awards aim to strengthen Africa’s brand of journalism by refocusing from the sensational headline-grabbing content, and to encourage best practice and motivate good performers.