UN Awards Samuel Agyemang For Mounting Campaign On AfCFTA

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UN Awards Samuel Agyemang
UN Awards Samuel Agyemang

Ghana’s former Journalist of the year for 2009/2010, Samuel Agyemang has been awarded a silver medal at the most prestigious United Nation’s Correspondents Association (UNCA) Awards for year 2022 for his outstanding coverage on all issues surrounding the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) through his Single African Market programme as a subject of interest to the United Nations, UN agencies, and field operations of the UN. He produced and hosted the first season of the programme for over a year on both traditional and social media across the continent to encourage the implementation of the continental agreement.

Samuel Agyemang was awarded the Ricardo Ortega Memorial Silver Prize for using television, print and online media to promote the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) which is a new agreement creating Africa’s first continent-wide free trade area capable of generating economic benefits and alleviate millions out of poverty if well implemented, with support from UN Agencies such as the UNDP in order to inform the people of Ghana and Africa about the Continental Trading Policy which aims to encourage industrialization, value addition and entrepreneurship to reduce poverty among Africans.

Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres in his address assured, that the United Nations is proud to stand with Journalists focusing on people with independence across the globe “The United Nations is proud to stand with you in defense of press freedom everywhere-not only in this year, when we mark the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Plan of Action on Safety of Journalists”

The UN Chief also reminded journalists to reflect a central truth and focus on building people and peace in society. “Free and Independent Journalism is a vital pathway to ensuring accountability, advancing justice, promoting human rights and building peace.” He emphasized.

The award was presented during a gala in New York with secretary General Antonio Guterres as the guest of honor. The awards night also saw Kate Hudson, the International Actress and Global Entrepreneu who is a Golden Globe Award Winner and Academy Award nominee, producer and bestselling author also awarded the Global Citizen Award. Kate is best known for her roles in “How to lose a Guy in 10 days”, “Almost famous” and “Bride Wars”.

The Ricardo Ortega Memorial Prize is named in honor of Ricardo Ortega, former correspondent for Antena 3 TV of Spain, a leading Spanish journalist of his generation whose war reporting from Afghanistan, Chechnya, Yugoslavia and Georgia were especially notable and had a reputation for honesty, independence, determination and courage but was killed by gunfire while covering Haiti on March 2004.

The U.N. Correspondents Association is a professional organization of over 200 correspondents and producers from dozens of countries, representing scores of Global publications, news agencies, and broadcasters from all regions of the world. The organization was founded in 1948. The relationship between the United Nations Correspondents Association, as the organization representing the U.N. press corps, and the Secretary General is based on an agreement in 1955 and is recognized annually by the United Nations General Assembly.

Receiving the Ricardo Ortega Memorial Silver Prize in 2002 makes Samuel one of the privileged few journalists globally to have won all categories of the award (Gold, Silver and Bronze), having won the bronze category in 2009 and the Gold Category in 2012 all presented by the former UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon.

Samuel seized the opportunity to highlight the importance of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to the UN Secretary General, the UN Ambassadors, the Diplomatic Community and colleague senior UN Correspondents/journalists.

He expressed gratitude to the government of Ghana through the Ministry of Information and Ministry of Trade and Industry and its National AfCFTA Coordination Office, the AfCFTA Secretariat, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), GIZ and UNDP for supporting the cause of informing Ghanaians and the Continent on the new economic integration of Africa. He also expressed gratitude to all media outlets who have supported the cause of the campaign on AfCFTA.

The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) which is a proud sponsor of the Ricardo Ortega Memorial Prize emphasized their focus on building bridges between societies, promoting dialogue and understanding and forging collective political will through education, youth, migration, media and women as peace and development mediators in identity-based settings.

In addition to winning all three categories of the prestigious United Nations Journalism awards, the former Journalist of the year in Ghana for 2009 and Commonwealth Broadcasters Association’s Journalist of the year for 2011 is also the recipient of the Dag Hammarskjold Fund for Journalists in 2009, which sponsors journalists from developing countries for the duration of the Annual UN General Assembly.

Other Journalists awarded include, Franceso Semprini, La Stampa, Italy, Michelle Nichols, Reuters, Australia, Stephanie Fillion, Freelance Canada, Emilio Godoy, Inter Press Services, Mexico, Kourosh, Ziabari, Asia Times, Iran, Samaan Lateef, DW Germany/Telegraph, UK, Rania Farhan, Women’s News Agency, Yemen and Mohamed Camara, Freelance, Guinea.

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