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African fact-checking awards

We’re thrilled to announce the winners of this year’s African Fact-Checking Awards (see winners and runners-up below). This year, we received a record number of 192 entries from 27 countries across the continent.

Now in its seventh year and continuing to grow, it is the only awards programme that honours journalism by Africa-based media in the expanding field of fact-checking.

In the inaugural year, 2014, we received entries from about 40 journalists across 10 countries. This year’s 192 entries were submitted by a total of 140 journalists and 28 journalism students. Candidates could only enter for the awards in one category but could submit more than one report.

african fact checking awards 2020

The record number of entries came at a time where across the globe, the Covid-19 pandemic ushered a flood of dangerous false information. The World Health Organization says the outbreak has been accompanied by the so-called infodemic: “an overabundance of information – some accurate and some not – that makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they need it”.

The pandemic has raised the stakes even higher in the fight against misinformation, requiring that the media play an even more active role in sifting the facts from the fiction.

“With health-related decisions sometimes being a matter of life or death, good fact-checking journalism is vital – now more than ever. The quality of information disseminated in public can determine the life outcomes of many and so it is the responsibility of the media to refrain from being conduits of misinformation,” says Noko Makgato, executive director at Africa Check.

“Each year we are seeing growing interest in fact-checking as evidenced by the number of organisations that have emerged focusing their efforts on debunking harmful claims in different parts of the continent. This, we believe, strengthens the quality of public debate and, hopefully, improves the quality of life across the continent.”

This year’s categories included:

  • Fact-Check of the Year by a Working Journalist
  • Fact-Check of the Year by a Student Journalist
  • One runner-up in each of the two categories above 

Entries should have been first published or broadcast on any date from 1 August 2019 to 22 August 2020. They should have exposed a claim on an important topic made by a public figure or institution in Africa as misleading or wrong.

The winner of the award for best fact-checking report by a working journalist received a prize of $3,000, while the runner-up was awarded $1,500. The winner of the award for best fact-checking report by a student journalist received a prize of $2,000, and the runner-up $1,000.

Winners and runners-up

Fact-Check of the Year by a Working Journalist

Winner: Taiwo Adebulu “FACT CHECK: Nigeria told UN that 7 varsities run strictly on renewable energy, but is this true?”

Runner-up: Aisha Abdool Karim “The coronavirus ‘vaccine’ Ekurhuleni wants to import doesn’t exist”

Fact-Check of the Year by a Student Journalist

Winner: Marième Fatou Dramé “Une organisation féministe publie des informations trompeuses sur les jeunes filles sénégalaises ( absentéisme scolaire, gestion des règles)”

Runner-up: Oluwaseye Ogunsanya “Did Nigeria’s Minister Of Education Announce Resumption of Schools On September 7?”

Taiwo Adebulu

Taiwo

Aisha Abdool Karim

Aisha

Marième Fatou Dramé

Marième Fatou Dramé

Oluwaseye Ogunsanya

Oluwaseye Ogunsanya

Previous winners

2019

We received a total of 153 entries from more than 20 countries all across the continent – from Ethiopia, Nigeria and Senegal to Egypt, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Winners

Runner-ups

Winner 2019
Winners of the 2019 Africa Fact Checking Awards at a ceremony at Wits University, Johannesburg on 29 October 2019.

 

2018

We received over 150 entries from more than 20 countries, from Ethiopia, Nigeria and Egypt to South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Winners

  • Best fact-checking report by a working journalist: Chikezie Omeje, International Centre For Investigative Reporting (ICIR), “FACT CHECK: Did Nigeria record a reduction in preschool enrolment?”, Nigeria
  • Best fact-checking report by a student journalist: Moussa Ngom, CESTI, “Dakar n’est pas la deuxième ville au monde la plus polluée”, Senegal

Runners-up

Winner 2018
Winner of the student category Moussa Ngom and runner-up of best fact-check Jason Norwood-Young at the 2018 African Fact-checking Awards held at Wits University. Picture: Kabi Motlau.

 

2017

In 2017, we received a record number of applications – 159 entries from 25 countries – from Ethiopia and Egypt in the north to South Africa and Zimbabwe in the south, before entries closed on 31 August.

Winners

Runners-up

Winner 2017
18 November 2017: Keymote address and awards ceremony held at Wits University Great Hall. Picture: Daylin Paul.

 

2016

After reviewing 130 entries from 22 countries the judges selected the following:

Winners

Runners-up

Winner 2015
Winner Benjamin Ezeamalu (middle), with Robert Holloway, director of the AFP Foundation, editors of Africa Check, and Peter Cunliffe-Jones. Photo: AFP/KAREL PRINSLOO

 

2015

After entries from more than 50 journalists in 15 countries, the jury selected the below winners and runners-up:

Winner

  • Best fact-checking report: Ben Ezeamalu, Premium Times, Nigeria

Runners-up

Winner 2015
Winner Benjamin Ezeamalu (middle), with Robert Holloway, director of the AFP Foundation, editors of Africa Check, and Peter Cunliffe-Jones. Photo: AFP/KAREL PRINSLOO

 

2014

In our inaugural year, we received entries from more than 40 journalists across 10 countries.

Winner

  • Edem Srem & Gifty Andoh Appiah, independent film-makers, Ghana

Runners-up

Winner 2014
Edem Srem receives his certificate from Africa Check chair and AFP Foundation Director, Robert Holloway