Radio France International (RFI, the leading worldwide all-news station) and Reporters Without Borders (the international press freedom organisation) award these annual prizes to support and encourage journalistic talent in French-speaking countries in Africa and the Indian Ocean.
Four prizes are usually awarded - for the best print media reporting, for photography, cartoons and radio journalism - in partnership with the International Agency for French-speaking Countries and with backing from the French foreign ministry and the French journalism school Ecole des métiers de l’information-cfd. The winners get a three-day training course at the school, a laptop computer and public and professional recognition which is crucial in certain countries and important internationally.
The prize jury was chaired by Jean-Emmanuel Pondi, head of the Institute of International Relations at Yaounde University (Cameroon) and author of a number of books. Other members were:
• Alain Ménargues, deputy director-general for news and broadcasting at RFI.
• Robert Ménard, secretary-general of Reporters Without Borders
• Tidiane Dioh, projects manager with the film and media department of the International Agency for French-speaking Countries.
• Sarah Caron, photographer.
• Julia Ficatier, journalist with the French daily newspaper La Croix.
• René Pétillon, cartoonist with the French satirical weekly Le Canard Enchaîné.
Antoine Schwartz, president and director-general of RFI, Robert Ménard, secretary-general of Reporters Without Borders and Jean-Claude Crépeau, head of the film and media department of the International Agency for French-speaking Countries presented the three prizes on 12 October at the Musée Dapper, in Paris
Odette Kwizera (Burundi), "Jean Hélène" Prize for radio journalism
Producer with Studio Ijambo, in Bujumbura. Her winning report, about children who flee to escape rebel kidnappers in northern Uganda, was broadcast by Radio Isanganiro on 13 August 2003. She was born on 10 October 1976.
CDs of the programmes are available from RFI.
Ibrahima Mbodj (Senegal), Print media Prize
Reporter with the newspaper Le Soleil. His article about the bad working conditions of horticultural workers on the outskirts of Dakar, appeared in the paper on 23 March 2004. Born in Ngolothie, near Kaolack (central Senegal) on 7 July 1960.
Narcisse-Blaise Massamba-Mazakaleki ("Picha-Masma") (DRC), Cartoons
Cartoonist and advertising graphic artist. Her cartoon, called "La Presse Ivoitée", appeared in Ligorodo, the twice-yearly magazine of the parish of Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Bumbu et Selembao (Kinshasa) in December 2003. She was born on 12 July 1970 in Kinshasa.
The photography prize was not awarded this year