Lifetime award for Gwen Lister at AllAfrica summit

Veteran Namibian journalist and editor Gwen Lister was recognised for a lifetime achievement at the 2024 AllAfrica Media Leaders Summit.

The AllAfrica Media Leaders media summit took place in Nairobi, Kenya, from 8 to 10 May, and brought together media leaders, policymakers and development advocates under the theme ‘Re-engineering African Media’.

Discussions focused on transforming media for Africa’s evolving needs.

The summit celebrated media excellence by honouring Lister as a champion of press freedom with the lifetime achievement award.

Lister was unable to attend the event, but sent a message highlighting the sustainability of media viability of journalism, as well as severe setbacks to press freedom, disinformation and a loss of public trust as some of the major hurdles facing journalism on the continent today.

“African journalists have risen to the challenges before, and more than that, have been fore-runners, not only on the continent, but in the global fight for press freedom, among others crafting the Windhoek Declaration on a Free and Independent Media in 1991,” said Lister.

“It was this historic step that led the UN General Assembly to declare the day of its adoption, May 3 each year, as World Press Freedom Day, and media in countries across the globe followed our example,” she added.

Lister, who is the founder of Namibia’s biggest English daily newspaper The Namibian, is also the founder of the Namibia Media Trust (NMT), an organisation that promotes media advocacy.

In her years as a journalist, she said her goal is for a thriving, free and independent African press.

“To achieve this will take great passion and a commitment to innovation and excellence by especially the younger generation who follow in our footsteps,” she said.

Lister said she had confidence in Africa’s ability to lead by example and restore journalism’s rightful place.

She acknowledged all the dedicated journalists across the continent, especially those she has worked with.

NMT Media foundation Zoe Titus accepted the award on Lister’s behalf.

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