Brussels, 15th January 2016 (WAM) — The European Commission honoured nine journalists reporting on development issues with the Lorenzo Natali Media Prizes. Out of more than 1400 registered participants from across the world, the nine selected journalists stood out for the quality of their journalistic work. Their journalistic reports covered topics ranging from the e-waste economy in Ghana, to innovative farming methods in slums in Kenya, drug crime in Mexico, and child prostitution in Myanmar.

The winning journalists received prizes of 5,000 euros and trophies during the Lorenzo Natali Media Prize Award Ceremony held in in Brussels (Belgium) on 14 January 2016.

This year’s Grand Prize has been awarded to Arison Tamfu from Cameroon for his story ‘Africa’s billions might be buried forever’, published in the Cameroon Daily Journal. The story shows how the use of renewable energies is improving lives in rural communities in Africa.

Speaking about the winners, European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica said: “These talented journalists remind us why development and poverty eradication are so important for people’s lives around the world, as their powerful stories show. On behalf of the European Commission, I applaud and thank the winners and participants for their efforts and invaluable contributions.”

Now in its 21st edition, the Lorenzo Natali Media Prize links the EU’s conviction of freedom, democracy, and human rights with its dedication to development and poverty eradication by honouring journalists for their reports on crucial development issues in line with this year’s theme/slogan ‘Today’s stories can change our tomorrow’. The 2015 edition of the award was organised in the context of the European Year for Development, and for the first time, the competition was open to both professional and amateur journalists, as well as bloggers.

Established in 1992 by the European Commission, the Lorenzo Natali Media Prize is awarded in memory of Lorenzo Natali, former Commissioner for Development and a staunch defender of freedom of expression, democracy, human rights and development. The Prize represents a unique opportunity to illustrate the power of great stories to change the world.

Journalists were invited to submit their work, whether it be online, print, radio, TV, or blog posts. Amateur and professional awards are given across five award categories (based on the media outlet’s location): Africa, the Arab World and the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, and Latin America and the Caribbean.