The African Women in Media (AWiM) Conference & Festival 2019 held 25-27 July 2019 at the University of Nairobi, Towers Kenya. Climaxing the 3 days conference was the award ceremony held on 27th July at Hilton Hotel, Nairobi in recognition of outstanding female journalists. The late Hodan Nalayeh, founder of Cultural Integration Agency in Somalia who was due to speak at conference but was killed during a terrorist attack alongside her husband in Somalia on 12 July 2019, was honoured with the ‘Changing the Narrative Award’.
Other award recipients include Zahara Tunda from Tanzania won the African Union (AU) Free Trade Sustainability Award; Culton Scovia from Uganda won the African Passport Award; Vincensia Fuko from Tanzania won the Free Movement of People Award. Also, Marky Mwendwa, a freelance journalist and Christabel Ligami with the Daily Nation, both from Kenya, won the Silencing the Gun Award and Free Trade Migration Award respectively.
‘Showcase’ which was the theme for AWiM 2019 had more than 50 speakers discussing segment themes cutting across different subject matters such as gender pay gap in media, sexual harassment and global movements, global Innovation in media, freedom and security, online safety speed mentoring as well as data and content.
Dr. Yemisi Akinbobola, co-founder and CEO of AWiM in her welcome speech highlighted the impact of the 2018 AWIM conference which the organisation measured through success stories of participants who attended the conference and who shared the results they got from the application of the three pillars of AWIM – Economic empowerment of women, Knowledge exchange between academia and industries and Visibility – in their field. By 2020, she said the organisation hopes to measure at the achievements of the AWIM 2019 stating how as women, the issue of sexual harassment in media can be addressed.
The Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) with support from Free Press Unlimited (FPU) was represented at the conference by its Admin and Programme Support Officer, Hope Nwadiwe, who joined others in the conversation during the conference.
AWiM started in 2016 with the mission to positively impact the way media functions in relation to women, the objective of which is in line with the African Union’s Agenda 2063 Aspirations 3 and 6, and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 5 and 10.Nigeria hosted the conference in 2018 (University of Ibadan) and the 2020 AWIM conference will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa.