By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has applauded Daily Nation Executive Editor, Mary Mbewe for scooping the 2020 Editorial Leadership Award Laureate for Africa by the World Association of Newspapers (WAN-IFRA)-Women in News (WIN).
In his congratulatory message, President Lungu encouraged Ms Mbewe to continue flying the Zambian flag higher.
“Let me congratulate Mary Mbewe, who has been named the 2020 WIN Editorial Leadership Award Laureate for Africa.
“Mary is a talented Zambian journalist who has served both public and private media and is currently the Daily Nation Executive Editor. To you Mary I say keep flying the Zambian flag higher,” President Lungu said.
The award is in recognition of excellence in leadership and an unwavering commitment to equality and press freedom in the African region.
The WIN Editorial Leadership Award selects one outstanding editor from Sub-Saharan Africa and one from the Arab Region, annually.
Candidates are selected by the Award Selection Committee, which is comprised of members of the WIN Steering Committee as well as previous Laureates.
The announcement of the award was made yesterday at WAN-IFRA’s Digital Media Africa conference and Ms Mbewe is set to receive her award in person next year in Thailand.
WAN-IFRA Chief Executive Officer, Vincent Peyrègne, said recognising leadership and celebrating excellence was even more important in today’s context.
Mr Peyregne congratulated Ms Mbewe for the achievement and said the award came at a right time.
“While media and the world remain gripped in this crisis of the global pandemic, Mary continues to exemplify excellence and resiliency bringing everyday news and human stories day after day,” he said in a statement.
He said the association intended to hold an in-person award ceremony at the upcoming WAN-IFRA News Media Congress as was the tradition.
“The Congress itself was cancelled due to Covid-19, but we are hopeful that we can hold it as planned in June 2021, with Mary Mbewe being in attendance to accept the award at that time,” he regretted.
Previously the awards had been held in-person but due to global Covid-19 pandemic this year, the ceremony would be held virtually.
WAN-IFRA Media Development and Women in News Executive Director, Melanie Walker, said: “Naming Mary this year’s Laureate takes on particular significance as we mark the 10th anniversary of our work in gender equality and media freedom in Zambia.
“We are very honoured to welcome Mary into our esteemed group of Laureates, each of whom inspire and pave the way forward for the next generation of leaders.”
In receiving her award, Ms Mbewe dedicated the award to all the hardworking men and women who spent hours making life easy for others, such as the women in shelters.
Ms Mbewe also dedicated the award to the Zambian media personnel for striving to be better than the best, sailing and surviving through storms in a tough field – especially the havoc caused by Covid-19.
“I am happy to be part of a team shaping a different narrative in supporting ordinary people,” she said.
By BUUMBA CHIMBULU