The Nation Media Group, the parent company of Monitor Publications ltd, publishers of the Daily Monitor has scooped the 2014 Commonwealth Association of Polytechnics in Africa (capa) inaugural annual award of excellence for development in Africa.
NMG was particularly recognized for her high quality and hot selling magazine, Seeds of Gold , which is published weekly in the Saturday Nation. The magazine carries stories that combine both research and good journalism, packaged and delivered in a way that can easily be used by farmers and policy makers.
A similar product is also run in the Daily Monitor on Wednesdays under the same name.
The chairperson African Union Commission Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was also recognized for her initiative and role in bringing agriculture to the centre stage of development efforts and her vigorous campaign for economic self-reliance in Africa.
The awards were given out on Tuesday at the ongoing international conference on competency based education and training in African countries at Imperial Resort Beach Hotel, Entebbe. The conference was jointly organized by Makerere University Business School and Kyambogo University –both members of capa.
The recipients of this year’s awards were judged basing on their outstanding contributions towards the development of agribusiness .This was in support of African Union heads of state pledge to take agriculture and food security as a key priority in 2014.
Mr Tim Wanyonyi , the managing editor Saturday Nation ,who received the award on behalf of NMG saluted capa for recognising their work and pledged to continue promoting agriculture and inspire youth to take it as a business.
“It is public knowledge that farming across our region has been left to parents and grand parents who are also aging. So, we found it imperative to introduce a product that can make farming a ‘sexy’ business for our readers particularly the youth who are facing employment challenges,” he said , adding “As NMG ,we thank Capa for recognising this work .We feel encouraged and we will proceed ,” he said.
Seeds of Gold Magazine is a people- based product that carries inspirational stories from successful farmers from whom others can learn. It carries stories of failure, to divert readers away from the pitfalls others went through. The Magazine also has a section where experts address themselves to specific queries from individual farmers as well as providing an agribusiness guide on where to invest and where the markets are.
Prof. Bockline Omedo Bebe , a don at Egerton University, which teamed up with NMG to start Seeds of Gold said the magazine has helped to restore the dignity of farming which had long been shunned as a poor man’s profession in the region.
“Basing on the feedback we are getting from the public, it is clear that the magazine was well received and its well packaged articles have inspired many young people and those we consider to be in gainful employment to go into agribusiness and they are reaping the benefits,” he said
Education Minister Jessica Alupo, who represented Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda at the ceremony, congratulated the winners, saying they were indeed most worthy of the awards. The Seeds of Gold Magazine was introduced in February this year following a study which revealed an information gap in the agricultural sector, which is generally acknowledged as the backbone of the economy in most African countries .The study also exposed a mismatch between the country’s listed development agenda and what the media profiled as news.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor