Posted by Lucy Nalumpa on Tue 2 December, 2014

The first competition of its kind has helped train young writers to report on issues to boost the country’s economy.

It was created to provide a platform for Zambian youth to share their voice on business and economic matters to be heard by the wider public and key decision makers. Partners Guide and its partners appreciate that the media has a large role to play in the perception of a country to outsiders and potential investors. They realised that the more balanced coverage about business and economics in the national media, the more open and attractive to business and foreign investment a country will appear.

busines-juournalistDavid Ngenda, 23, received the prize at an awards ceremony held at the Intercontinental Hotel in Lusaka on Wednesday 6th August. It followed an intense competition the previous day at TopFloor when 10 finalists, from an initial 104 entries drew questions about business issues in Zambia and produced a 1000 word feature. Speaking at the awards ceremony, Information and Broadcasting Services Minister Hon Dr Joseph Katema MP said: “I am impressed with the approach Partners Group has taken to open the magazine to with expertise in various fields who may not necessarily be journalists by profession to contribute articles to the magazine.”

Ngenda, who works as a Project Co-ordinator for an NGO looking after elderly people and is originally from Mongu, spent four days in Sweden between 24th – 28th August as part of his prize, courtesy of the Embassy of Sweden in Lusaka and the Swedish Institute in order to further develop his journalism skills and meet prominent members of Stockholm’s media community and journalists from a number of other countries. Prior to the ceremony, the 10 finalists received journalism training at the Swedish Embassy from two qualified UK journalists and Andrew Mulenga, winner of a 2012 CNN/ Multichoice African Journalist of the Year Award. The finalists were also visited by guest speakers from a range of key industries.

Swedish Ambassador to Zambia Lena Nordström backed the training of a new generation of business journalists.“Investors need more information,more analysis and more statistics on the financial markets, financial instruments, governance and policy issues and regulatory challenges in a country like Zambia,” she said.

It is hoped that better coverage of business affairs will help Zambia to continue to build on its status as one of the top 10 fastest growing economies in the world. The Partners Group, publishers of the Partners Guide, set up the competition to address a perceived lack of business journalism in Zambia. Partners Group Commercial Director

Ray Willbern said: “The media should carry out more in-depth analysis on economic issues so as to help investors make informed decisions about investment in Zambia.” A new online business directory – www.pgzambia.com was also launched at the awards ceremony on Wednesday by ZICTA Director General, Margaret Chalwe Mudenda.The website will map subscribing businesses in Lusaka while also enabling consumers to rate and review businesses and read daily business and economic content related to Zambia.

journalistWillbern said: “This new website will provide a directory for the public to find local businesses in their area via GPS on their phone or computer. It will allow the consumerto find services in their local area. They will also be able to review the business once a year. This could help set a benchmark of service for businesses and help boost the business climate in Zambia even more.” The public ratings on the website will form the basis, of the pgzambia.com Business Awards for Excellence, which will be hosted in Lusaka in October 2015.

Jonathan Kays, Partners Group CEO, said: “I would love to thank the government of the Republic of Zambia and His Excellency, the President, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, for their tremendous support and for providing an enabling environment to talk about business and economics in Zambia.” Kays also extended his appreciations to the Minister of Information, Broadcasting and Services, Hon

Dr. Joseph Katema MP, Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing Hon Forrie Tembo MP and the Director General of ZICTA, Mrs Margaret Mudenda, for their tremendous support and officially launching the pgzambia.com website. He also acknowledged key partners in the event such as the Embassy of Sweden, Professional Insurance, Lafarge, Stanbic Bank, Cutting Edge, Zambia Daily Mail, ZNBC, iConnect, Infotech, Techzone, Windhoek Lager, the Wine Shop and other cooperating partners for helping to make the project such a resounding success. Next year’s Partners Guide Young Zambian Business Journalist of the Year Award is being planned to include more aspects of journalism including broadcast journalism and photo journalism.

Journalism lecturer and trainer of this year’s finalists Michael Greenwell, who travelled from the UK to conduct the training said: “Next year’s competition will attract even more entries and we will be raising the bar even higher. I was impressed with the standard of writing from our young hopefuls and their enthusiasm.” UK Press Association journalist Mary Ann Pickford, who also trained the finalists and travelled from the UK, said: “All of the finalists have worked hard and put in so much effort in the training.

judgesThey have a really bright future ahead and we’re proud of them.” The week-long training covered media law, ethics, online journalism, copywriting and sourcing stories, among many other areas of the profession. Partners Guide is a quarterly publication covering business and culture in Zambia. It is distributed internationally and to government ministers. The European Times described it as “the leading media platform for business and policy decision makers in Zambia”.

All of the finalists’ entries from the final are published in this edition of the Partners Guide, with winner David Ngenda’s account of his trip to Sweden also featured. “I am very proud to have received this award,” Ngenda said, after dedicating his triumph to his partner. Finalists that participated in the competition included Chola Chisengalumbwe, 28, a Copywriter at DDB Iris; Chosani Mbewe, 27, an Assistant Tax Manager at Pricewaterhousecoopers; Dekha Phiri, 23, a CIMA student; Esther Phiri, 20, a Student of Commerce with Marketing at Mulungushi University in Kabwe; Kampamba Shula, 25, a Financial Advisor at Deloitte and Touche; Majorie Chalwe, 26, a Banker with FNB; Mutale Mubanga, 28, a Economic/ Financial Analyst; Peter Sichinsambwe, 24, an Accountant and Sipho Muyangana, 19, an Economics student at the University of Zambia

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