Thursday, May 19, 2016

SOTU Print Journalists Competition 2016

 By Kojanews Team


Call for Submissions 

The State of the Union Coalition (SOTU) calls out for submissions of articles from journalists working in the 10 African countries SOTU has membership; Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Senegal, Kenya, Rwanda, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa and Tunisia. The competition is open to African journalists reporting on Human Rights and Governance issues in the print and digital media. Deadline: 31st May 2016 at 11:59 (GMT +3).


The State of the Union Coalition (SOTU) is a coalition of civil society organizations working together to advocate for the ratification, domestication, and implementation of African Union (AU) instruments (i.e. treaties, policy frameworks and standards). SOTU believes that the successful implementation of these instruments will have tremendous and positive impact on the lives millions of African citizens.

Theme: Human Rights and Governance in Africa Categories:

Your article must fall into one of these categories;
  1. 1. Corruption
  2. 2. Food Security
  3. 3. Women
  4. 4. Youth
Eligibility and Dates 

The competition is open to all bona fide practising journalists from Africa who must be African Citizens.
We are looking at having new and fresh submissions that must have been published in May 2016.
The articles must make reference to at least 1 of the 14 SOTU focus AU legal instruments & policy standards. Refer to them on;

Class of Entries
  • – Print and Digital
Entries must be in the 4 select African Union languages;
i) English ii) French iii) Portuguese and iv) Arabic
Broad Rules of the competition 
  • – The competition shall be open to all print media journalists who are citizens of AU member states and who are based in Africa and whose publications are published in AU member states.
  • – Winners will be selected from the 10 participating countries, 1 each from print and online/digital. Additionally, there will be 2 regional winners and an overall winner.
  • – Each journalist entering the competition shall be required to show proof that he/she is a citizen of an AU member state
  • – Each entry shall be accompanied by full names of the writer, the name and contact details of his/her employer, his/ her position in the news organisation and region from where the entry is emanating:
  • – Should you be selected, a written confirmation on official letterhead from the media organisation employing the journalists, confirming his/ her employment in the agency and confirming the dates of publication of all the submitted entries will be required.
  • – On receipt, the entries will be judged by a competent panel of judges established by the SOTU coalition.
  • – Entries from qualified female journalists are encouraged.
How to enter 
Submissions sent without the required accompanying documentation will be disqualified. The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into after the closing dates.
Winners in each of the categories will receive $500 and the overall winner will receive an additional cash prize of $500
Selection Criteria 
Entries will be evaluated on their potential to educate and inform diverse audiences about issues related to African Union Agenda in line with the theme of the awards. The judges will score entries on the following criteria.
  • – Accuracy and fairness
  • – Present innovative or enhanced approach on issues
  • – Relevance to the public policy and debate
  • – Easily understood by the targeted audience
  • – Quality of presentation
Opening and closing dates for submissions
  • – Entries for the competition will be opened on 1st May 2016 and will close 31st May 2016.
  • – Winners will be informed in June 2016.
How to submit 
Interested journalists are invited to submit entries to the SOTU Secretariat. The entries for print should be a scanned copy of the published article with accompanying word version, for digital send a link and a word copy of the article.
Submissions should be sent electronically to
For more information visit
Victor Nyambok | State of the Union (SOTU) Communications Officer
The Atrium, Chaka Road, Kilimani | Nairobi, Kenya | | skype: victor_nyambok | twitter: @victornyambok | Mobile: +254 722 211 819
SOTU is collaborating with the African Media Initiative to convene an African Editors' Roundtable on the African Union in Accra, Ghana, on June 11-12, 2016.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Nairobi gears up for UN Environment Assembly

By Charles Ogallo,

Previous gathering of the UN Assembly.

Governments and civil societies around the globe are gearing up for the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-2) set to be held from 23 to 27 May 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya.

Under the theme Delivering on the Environmental Dimension of 2030 Agenda for sustainable Development, the UNEA-2 delegates will be meeting at the UNEP headquarters based at Gigiri ,  Nairobi with a focus on Healthy Environment and Healthy People issues..

Various sessions have been lined up including a Ministerial Policy-Review Session where Governments’ Ministers will be setting agenda of discussion on International environmental policy and governance.

Illegal trade in wildlife, Science-policy interface, Chemicals and waste, Marine plastic debris, Ecosystem-based adaptation, Global Environment Monitoring System/Water Programme, Sustainable development and poverty eradication are among important topics of discussions,  according to a provisional Agenda of the 5 day conference.

Major groups and stakeholders including civil societies will also be participating in the conference.

“Major groups and Stakeholders MGS have a critical role in supporting the decision making process at UNEA 2, by engaging with governments’, sharing their expert knowledge and by ensuring that the  voice of those who might be affected by decisions taken,  is  heard” says a statement from the UNEP headquarters.

The Writer/Correspondent can be reached through;

Mobile; +254-720504864

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Former Norway’s Environment Minister to head UNEP

By Charles Ogallo.

Mr Erik Solhein, New UNEP Chief.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Mr Erik Solhein , the former Norway’s Minister for the Environment as the next Executive Director of the Nairobi based United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

 Mr Solhein who is currently the chairman of the Development Assistance Committee of the organization for Economic Cooperation and Development OECD was appointed Tuesday following consultations between the UN Secretary General and  the Chairpersons of the regional groups of member states.

“United Nations Secretary Genral Ban Ki-moon , following consultations with the Chairpersons of the regional groups of member states has informed the General Assembly of his intention to appoint Erik Solhein of Norway as the new Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme UNEP” say s a statement released Wednesday  through UNEP website.

Mr. Solhein held also the post of Norway;’s Minister for Environment and International Development between 2007 and 2012. He also served as Norway’s Minister for International Development from 2005 to 2007.

The Norwegian politician had also worked as a diplomat and a participant in the Norwegian delegation that unsuccessfully attempted to resolve the Sri Lankan Civil War before the outbreak of Eelam War IV between 1987 and 1997.

He takes over from Achin Steiner who has led the 44 year old UNEP since 2006

The UNEP’s outgoing Executive Director welcomed the Secretary General’s announcement and congratulated Mr Solhein for his appointment as the sixth Executive Director of the International organization.  

"I congratulate Erik Solhein on his nomination to become the Sixth Executive Director in UNEP’s 44-year history.Mr Solhein was a strong supporter of UNEP during his tenure as Minister of Environment and International Development of Norway and continued to offer his good offices in later years” says Mr Steiner.

Mr. Steiner, a German and Brazilian national, was born in Brazil in 1961.

 See more at:

The Writer/Correspondent can be reached through;
Mobile; +254-720504864

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Ban Ki-moon formally appoints Espinosa to head UNFCCC

By Charles Ogallo.

Former Mexican Diplomat Patricia Espinosa
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has finally appointed Patricia Espinosa from Mexico as the new Executive Secretary of the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Espinosa who did a great job in leading the Cancun COP in 2010 takes over from  the out-going UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres who prepares to step down in July this year. 

The ex-Mexican Foreign Minister's appointment follows approval from the bureau of UNFCCC in Bonn Germany.

Christiana Figueres announced recently she will be stepping down in July after the successful Paris climate agreement to cut emissions.

The 59-year-old Costa Rican Thursday welcomed Espinosa's appointment saying
“I consider Patricia Espinosa the right person at the right time for advancing the historic Paris Climate Change Agreement”.

Figueres had earlier noted she would not accept any extension of her term as head of the Bonn-based UN Climate Change Secretariat after what she called the historic Paris Agreement.

 “The journey that lies ahead will require continued determination, ingenuity and, above all, our collective sense of humanity and purpose,” she wrote in  a letter to governments, which agreed a goal in Paris to cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2100.

According to UN Climate Change Newsroom, Ms. Espinosa has more than 30 years of experience at highest levels in international relations, specializing in climate change, global governance, sustainable development and protection of human rights.

Since 2012, she has been serving as Ambassador of Mexico to Germany, a position she also held from 2001 to 2002. She previously served as Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mexico from 2006 to 2012.

Story courtesy of UNFCCC .
The Writer/Correspondent can be reached through;
Mobile; +254-720504864

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

New resource on Hepatitis C for Journalists worldwide

The World Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ) on Tuesday launched a new initiative to help journalists report on the staggering toll of Hepatitis C (HCV) as well as the scientific and political barriers to treating the disease.

Launched on World Hepatitis Day (July 28, 2015), the new website presents resources written by journalists for journalists to expose the complex issues preventing effective prevention and treatment of the disease as well as a database of HCV experts from around the world who can be interviewed on a range of issues– from physician/scientists and patient groups, to public policy experts.

According to the World Federation of Science Journalists, the global disease burden of viral hepatitis is staggering.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 130-150 million people have chronic HCV worldwide, and most of them are not even aware they are infected.

People with chronic HCV have a high risk of developing serious life threatening liver diseases.

Despite the risk, there is relatively little media coverage of the HCV pandemic and the public remains largely uninformed about the transmission, detection, health risks, treatment prospects, and state of government health policy for HCV.

WFSJ Global Media Education Initiative now provides journalists around the world with the tools, data, and contacts to accurately explore the latest developments about the HCV crisis - from the latest research to the reasons why new treatments are not accessible to the majority of people suffering from the disease.
The resources are organized by theme and are specifically designed to help journalists provide strong and accurate coverage of HCV.

The modules also include video interviews with leading experts including Charles Gore (President, Word Hepatitis Alliance), Dr. Michel-Pawlotsky (Professor of Medicine, University of Paris-Est), and Dr. Karine Lacombe (Assistant Professor, Infectious and tropical Diseases, Saint-Antoine Hospital (AP-HP)).

According the new website, the World Federation of Science Journalists is also launching a new database of viral Hepatitis experts from around the world who speak different languages.

This database will be regularly updated and expanded. These expert sources vetted by the WFSJ are appointed to serve on the database for a period of one year at a time, and have expressed a willingness to share their expertise and insights into viral hepatitis with the media.

Damien Chalaud, Executive Director of the World Federation of Science Journalists says — “This initiative marks a unique opportunity for journalists to not only learn about HCV, but to produce stories that will make an impact. The content and resources are specifically designed to help journalists produce accurate yet compelling reports about this complex human story, with its public health policy and socio-economic perspectives. We believe it will enable journalists to look deeper into the topic and change the way they approach the HCV narrative”.

Canadian health columnist André Picard (Globe and Mail), Poul Brich Eriksen (Former Executive Producer and Special Correspondent, Danish Broadcasting Corporation) and Dr. Roberta Villa (Health communicator and journalist. Health Editor, Zadig) wrote the education modules. Penny Park (Executive Director, Science Media Centre of Canada) was the acting program editor and reviewer.

The program was developed in partnership with the World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA) and supported by a seed donation from AbbVie.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Nairobi City Joins Global Climate Change Action Commitment.

By Charles Ogallo.

Nairobi is among 402 cities across the world that have registered their commitments to the global long term climate change action as part of growing ambitions towards this year’s United Nations climate change conference in Paris.

Nairobi has also committed to double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency as well as set green house gas emission reduction goals by 2030.

The commitments comes as Kenya declares again to focus more on clean energy production in the country in order to benefit from what green economy offers.

Speaking Monday during this year’s Madaraka Day celebration at the heart of the city, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said his government has put in place plans to ensure one million more Kenyan households are connected to locally produced electricity.

“My government will focus more on production of clean energy as we continue to meet energy demands in the country” said President Kenyatta.

Since inception of Kenyatta Government in 2013, a lot has happened in terms of lighting up slum areas within and outside the capital city Nairobi with solar and other clean energy supply.

The online portal is designed to showcase several inspiring developments within the scope of the Lima-Paris Action Agenda and catalyze public –private sector action on climate change before and after 2020, when the Paris universal climate agreement will take effect.

The commitments from cities , businesses and investors housed and showcased in an updated version of of the Non-State Actor Zone for Climate Action-NAZCA portal - will also add critical momentum towards the new universal climate agreement in December.

The NAZCA portal was originally launched at COP 20 in Lima where Peru’s Environment Minister and President of last year’s UN Climate Change Conference in Lima, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, said the Nazca lines symbolize connection, action and movement.

The online registration process – in partnership with CDP, the Carbon Climate Registry and Global Investors on Climate Change – provides a simple system for ensuring that climate commitments are registered with the UN in time for Paris.

More Calls for Radical Shift in News Presentation.


Journalists challenged to learn to write and publish news on mobile and other wearable devices while maintaining media and journalism ethics.

Participants in this year's World  News Congress in Washington DC believe that a radical shift in News presentation was urgently required to ensure modern day journalists conform to the fast changing consumer habits.

The professionals including prominent editors and media experts from across the globe warn that many jorunalists are doom to perish unless they evolve fast and embrace new technologies.

For more details click;

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Call for Application for Media 21 Africa: Journalism and climate change


The call for applications is aimed at media organisations, independent journalists and/or bloggers based in Kenya, Tanzania and Madagascar who wish to develop or enhance their content in relation to subjects associated with the environment and global warming.

The project Media 21 Africa : Journalism and climate change aims to inform and raise awareness among the African media of the issues and opportunities at the Paris Climate 2015 conference.

 The conference COP21, or Paris Climate 2015, will take place from 30 November to 11 December 2015.

For more details;