Ghanaian TV presenter Paa Kwesi Asare wins 2023 BBC News Komla Dumor Award

Ghanaian TV presenter and journalist Paa Kwesi Asare has won the 2023 BBC News Komla Dumor Award. The 36-year-old is the eighth recipient of the award and the first to come from Ghana, like the late Komla Dumor.

Asare is currently the head of business news at Ghana’s private TV3 channel, where he has worked for seven years as one of its main news anchors.

The award was created to honour Komla Dumor, a Ghanaian journalist who worked for BBC World News and was the main presenter of its programme ‘Focus on Africa’. He died aged 41 in 2014.

He had worked tirelessly to bring a more nuanced African narrative to the world, representing a confident, savvy and entrepreneurial side of Africa. The judges were impressed by Asare’s strong journalism and his ability to explain complex topics compellingly and clearly.

“This for me is a watershed moment in my career and an opportunity I’ll grab with both hands,” said Asare, who will spend three months working with BBC News teams in London across TV, radio and online.

The Ghanaian broadcaster will also receive training and be mentored by leading BBC journalists. As part of the placement, he will travel to a country in Africa to report on a story that will be broadcast to the BBC’s global audiences.

“I feel very elated to have won the BBC News Komla Dumor Award,” Asare said.

“This is arguably the most prestigious award for any African journalist. Komla’s talent is one that I greatly admired and to be found worthy of walking in his shoes is not only a joy but also a great privilege.”

Previous award recipients are Dingindaba Jonah Buyoya, Victoria Rubadiri, Solomon Serwanjja, Waihiga Mwaura, Amina Yuguda, Didi Akinyelure and Nancy Kacungira, the inaugural winner.

Komla Dumor in his broadcasting days was the face and the voice of Africa – a new young, enterprising, internationally connected, ambitious Africa, with a can-do attitude.

When pioneering the launch of Africa Business Report on BBC World News, he set out to challenge the stereotypical view of Africa. He was passionate about telling the story of how the continent was changing, of rapid economic growth and technological advances.

But he was not a praise-singer. He was determined to present a balanced story, warts and all, and to show the human face behind the headlines. Three years after joining the BBC’s African service in 2006, Komla went on to present TV programmes.

After his success at Africa Business Report, Komla was the natural choice to host the BBC’s flagship Focus on Africa TV programme in 2012 – its first TV news programme for the continent.

International broadcasters, including the BBC, have often been accused of being coy to promote black African talent but with Komla, the BBC got it right, as he smashed through internal and external barriers. BBC TV now boasts many African presenters and reporters.

In his short career, he changed so much. Once Komla was asked what he loved about Africa: “its resilience. After all we have been through, we are still here.”

Source: BBC

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