Articles will be submitted at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Last day of submission is March 22, 2012.
‘A deep, very grave problem is undermining Africa : political impunity’, writes Philippe Orou Sica. ‘Because of it, political life is sometimes asphyxiated and criminalized. As soon as he accedes to power a Head of State feels that he is above all law. His political and ethic group therefore feel that they are also protected. On the one side, issues are repressed, and on the other, one can kill, assassinate political opponents in total impunity, wage war against the whole or a part of the population with a cynicism and a quietness of conscience that is the most peculiar. Nothing seems to dissuade those murderous forms of ‘politics’.’ To this definition that targets mostly the political aspect of impunity, one would have to add its social, economical, dimension, its relation to gender, to the military and numerous other aspects.
The name of Cameroonian journalist Ngota Ngota Germain Cyrille, also known as Bibi Ngota, is connected to the issue of impunity mainly because of the conditions of his death. The founding editor of Cameroon Express, he was arrested together with other journalists, and accused of having published documents compromising a High ranking political official who is still in the Cameroonian government today, Laurent Esso. Jailed in the Kondengui prison, Bibi Ngota saw his health deteriorate rapidly. He was admitted to the prison dispensary where he died. His death certificate mentions ‘abandonment’, ‘improper care’ as well as ‘failure to render assistance’, as the causes of his death. His death unified journalists around his plight in an unprecedented gesture of professional solidarity that this award intends to perpetuate.
1. A Bibi Ngota Award for Journalism Against Impunity in Africa is therefore created in the memory of the Cameroonian journalist who died in prison on April 22, 2010, and was jailed because of his journalistic work.
2. The award celebrates a work of investigative journalism or of analysis published in any format that covers topics related to impunity in its economic, judicial, political, social aspects, and on human rights on the African continent. The articles submitted should have been published the year before the attribution of the prize (for instance between January and December 2011 for the 2012 award).
3. The award celebrates journalists based in Africa or in the Diaspora, but also non-African journalists working for Western media and who write on Africa.
4. The award’s amount is $1000.
5. A special mention of the jury highlights the work done by a Cameroonian journalist whose work has not been recognized. That special mention is not financial and is carried by the online journal ‘dix grammes d’info, dix minutes de lecture’.
6. Many submissions can be made by the same person.
7. Submissions in English and French will be accepted, and can be made by the journalists themselves, their colleagues or the board of their media.
8. For the moment, only submissions in English and French will be accepted.
9. The winner will be announced each year on April 22, on the day Bibi Ngota died.
10. The members of the jury are 6 in number and will be designated each year. The list of jury members will only be published when necessary.
11.The designation of the awardee will be done by a majority of votes of the members of the jury. In case there is no majority, the president of the jury will cast a double vote to choose the winner.
12. Articles will be submitted at : email@example.com. Last day of submission is March 22, 2012.