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Communicating Africa: the Harambee Prize

The Harambee NGO (non-governmental organization) insists that most of the communications media fail to give a true picture of the African continent. To correct this, it has organized the Fourth International Harambee Prize “Communicating Africa.” The three previous editions of the prize were in 2004, 2006, and 2008. On this occasion the presentation of the awards will take place in Rome on November 12, 2010.

Rosalinda Corbi, International Coordinator of Harambee Africa International, explains: “It’s a matter of making Africa better known through a journalistic report. The prize has two categories, one for Western journalists, and the other for African journalists. Each can show an aspect of Africa from his or her own point of view.”

The award is for journalists who highlight the greatness of the small histories of this immense continent. The aim is not to give a simplistic view of Africa, but to show that in spite of the wars and the hunger on the content, there is also hope and serious work by many persons and organizations.

This NGO came about through donations gathered at the canonization of St. Josemaría, the Founder of Opus Dei, in 2002. Since then it has financed 28 projects in 14 countries of Africa. Giovanni Mottini, President of Harambee Africa International, says: “We are convinced that education is a priority for Africa because the children of today will be the citizens of these countries within 10 or 15 years, and among them will be those responsible for their nation’s important decisions. This is why education is our priority.”

The word “harambee” means “all together” in Swahili and sums up the NGO’s work. All working together to help build up a continent that has a lot to teach the world.

Romana, No. 50, January-June 2010, p. 143-144.