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 Antananarivo, Tuesday, October 19, 2016: Three journalists from Burundi, Ethiopia and Zambia respectively have won the 2015 COMESA Media Awards and feted during the 19th COMESA Heads of State and Government Summit.

Mr Leonidas Ninteretse of Burundi, Pawlos Belete of Ethiopia and Francis Lungu of Zambia emerged winners in a competition that attracted 30 entries from nine countries. President of Madagascar H.E Hery Rajaonarimampianina presented trophies to the journalists.

COMESA Media awards were launched in 2009 during the 13th Summit in Zimbabwe in 2009. Since then, the regional bloc invites media practitioners in the region to submit published articles and audio/visual documentaries relevant to regional integration for consideration in the COMESA Media Awards.

“This initiative is in acknowledgment of the role of the Media in setting the agenda for public discourse, whereby topics, issues, and individuals become important because of the attention the media gives them,” Secretary General of COMESA Sindiso Ngwenya said. “Through print and broadcast, the media presents on a daily basis, the topics that inform public debate.”

The objective of the Awards is to promote reporting of COMESA programmes and activities and recognize journalists whose works contribute to the integration agenda. The awards are open to journalists from the 19 COMESA Member States. The eligible entries were for works published/broadcast from January to December 2015.