Ecobank Group Head of Corporate Communications Richard Uku (www.ecobank.com
) presented the award to Asu at a gala ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi, Kenya.
Richard Uku said: "The Ecobank Economics and Business Award recognises the excellence of journalistic reporting in this important field, and we are delighted to present the award to Femi Asu for the talent he has exhibited. Ecobank is pleased to be a long-time partner with CNN and MultiChoice in the promotion of excellence in African journalism."
In his winning story, Small businesses in death throes as power supply worsens
, Femi Asu reports on the issue facing many Nigerian entrepreneurs, and exposes a major problem for those struggling to grow their businesses. He explains how enormous expenses associated with electricity, coupled with worsening power from the national grid, eat into profits. He shows how many young Nigerians, whose projects could create jobs for others and whose success is crucial to growing the economy, are crippled by prohibitive costs and are going out of business.
The judging panel, which selected the entry from among many others spanning 39 nations across the African continent, said: "This is a story about how the lack of stable electricity supply harms small businesses in Nigeria. Femi Asu focused on an issue not particular to Nigeria but to many African countries. With detailed examples, the author demonstrates how businesses are severely affected including in some cases closing down with huge consequences on the country's economic development. The piece is well written with the reader taken on a journey that highlights the issue with affected individuals and businesses. Excellent research."
Commenting on his achievement, Femi Asu said: "I am so delighted to be the recipient of the Ecobank Economics & Business Award in this year's CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards. It means a lot to me, and I appreciate Ecobank's effort towards boosting the fortunes of business journalism in Africa by sponsoring this award category."
The CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards rotate location each year in tribute to their pan-African credentials. Ecobank has supported the awards as a corporate sponsor since 2008. Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Ecobank.