Commercial Risk Africa correspondent scoops top award

Gareth Stokes, South Africa correspondent for Commercial Risk Africa, has won the coveted Pan-African Re/Insurance Journalist of the Year Award.

He collected his award at a glittering ceremony in Dakar, Senegal, hosted by the award’s creators, Continental Reinsurance. Presenting the award were the insurance regulators of Ghana and Uganda, respectively – Lydia Lariba Bawa and Alhaji Ibrahim Lubega.

Continental Re CEO Dr Femi Oyetunji spoke of the need to improve the skills of journalists writing about the complex world of African insurance.

He said improving understanding and standards would help insurance deliver even greater benefits to the wider society.

The award was judged by a panel of six international and independent judges including Julia Graham, deputy CEO at UK risk management association Airmic, and attracted entries from 13 countries across the continent.

Mr Stokes won the award for his article that first appeared in Commercial Risk Africa last year, titled “Botswana in search of growth”. The piece included a look at some of the challenges facing the insurance market in the county, including the impact of the low commodity cycle and cybercrime.

Issac Khisa, of Independent Publications in Uganda, took the award for Best Re/Insurance Industry Analysis and Commentary, for a piece on the growth of the insurance market in Uganda; while Josiane Kouagheu, from Agripreneur d’Afrique Cameroon, won the award for the Best Re/Insurance Industry Feature Article, for a piece on agriculture.

Commercial Risk Africa’s senior correspondent in east Africa, Steve Mbogo, who won the Industry Feature Award at last’s year inaugural ceremony, was a finalist again this year, for a piece on low priced insurance becoming a game changer for small-scale farmers.

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