Finalists in the prestigious CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2009 Competition were announced Tuesday by Azubuike Ishiekwene, Chair of the independent judging panel with investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas of the New crusading Guide the only Ghanaian in the final list of 25.

The competition is now in its 14th year.

A release by the panel said the competition this year received entries from 836 journalists from 38 countries throughout the continent, including French and Portuguese speaking Africa.

There 25 finalists are from 12 countries:

    Ayodeji Adeyemi, TELL Magazine, Nigeria

  • Biaou Daniel Valérien Adje, ORTB – Parakou, Benin
  • Anas Aremeyaw Anas, The Crusading Guide, Ghana
  • Rajen Bablee, Samedi Plus, Mauritius
  • Ernesto Bartolomeu, TPA, Angola
  • Nicola De Chaud, Backyard Productions for Carte Blanche, South Africa
  • Ethar El-Katatney, Business Today Egypt
  • Hazel Friedman, Special Assignment, SABC, South Africa
  • Halden Krog, The Times, South Africa
  • Anna-Maria Lombard, Health-e News Service for 3rd Degree, South Africa
  • Paul McNally, Men’s Health Magazine, South Africa
  • James Moturi Mogaka, KTN, Kenya
  • Fredrick Mugira, Freelance for Mail & Guardian online, Uganda
  • Sammy Muraya, Metro FM, Kenya
  • Boniface Mwangi, Expression Today, Kenya
  • John Benson Mwangi, KTN, Kenya
  • John-Allan Namu, KTN, Kenya
  • Elshadai Negash, Freelance for Fortune Newspaper, Ethiopia
  • Luís Nhachote, Zambeze, Mozambique
  • Tolu Ogunlesi, Contributing Editor for Glide Magazine, Nigeria
  • Violet Otindo, K24 Television, Kenya
  • Odette Schwegler, Backyard Productions for Carte Blanche, South Africa
  • Viviane Tiendrébéogo, Radiodiffusion Télévision du Burkina Faso
  • Beauregard Tromp, The Star, South Africa
  • Alain Zongo, L’Observateur Paalga, Burkina Faso

The release also announced Nicaise Kibel’bel Oka of Les Coulisses in the Democratic Republic of Congo as the recipient of the Free Press Africa Award this year. He was awarded the prize, for his work in the DRC, and also in recognition of all the journalists in the DRC who have put their lives at risk in telling the story. The release paid tribute to three journalists in particular who were murdered fulfilling their professional duties:

  • Pascal Kabungulu (killed 31st July 2005)
  • Serge Maheshe (killed 13th June, 2007)
  • Didace Namujimbo (killed 23rd November 2008)
  • The winners of the competition will be announced at an Award Ceremony and Gala Evening at The International Convention Centre, Durban, South Africa on Saturday 18th July. Ghana hosted the last awards gala in Accra.