SABMiller announced that in 2011 it will become a co-sponsor of the David Astor Journalism Awards Trust, the UK based charity which aims to promote, strengthen and support independent journalism in Africa.
Established in 2006, the Trust runs an awards program in East Africa, searching and investing in exceptionally promising young African print journalists working in English. SABMiller’s contribution will support the 2011 program which currently operates in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda and focuses on the professional development and long-term career support of the next generation of media leaders in East Africa. The awards were endorsed by Nelson Mandela in 2008 who called them ‘a fitting and meaningful way’ to honour David Astor, the late editor of The Observer newspaper in London and a lifelong supporter of human rights.
The award winners take part in a three month professional development program, tailored to their particular interests, involving secondments to newspapers in the UK and South Africa later on this year. They also automatically become career long members of the David Astor Journalism Awards peer-support network and each receives a nominal cash award of $500.
«A vigorous, independent and talented media has a major role to play in promoting and securing good governance in Africa. It can be a crucial bulwark to democratic values, to defending human rights and in contributing to the socio-political development of the region. We are proud to be associated with an initiative which has the potential to leave such a positive and lasting legacy,» commented Mark Bowman, Managing Director, SABMiller Africa.