Chuks Udo Okonta emerges runner-up in 2021 Pan-African re/insurance journalism awards

Chuks Udo Okonta

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Chuks Udo Okonta

The Publisher of Inspenonline Nigeria’s premier Insurance and Pension online news channel, Chuks Udo Okonta has emerged as runner-up in the 2021 Pan-African re/insurance journalism awards, sponsored by Continental Reinsurance Plc.

Announcing the winners today, Continental Reinsurance Plc, said Chuks won the third prize under the Online category with the article, ‘Insurers moving beyond claims settlement amid COVID-19’.

The award organisers said the 6th pan-African (re)insurance journalism awards category winners are: Best Re/Insurance French entry – Amadou Oury Diallo, Jeune Afrique Media Group, Senegal.

Best Re/Insurance Print Article, Patrick Alushula, Nation Media Group, Kenya.

Best Re/Insurance online article, Londiwe Buthelezi, Fin24, South Africa.

Best Re/Insurance Broadcast Article, Mwape Zulu Kumwenda, Prime Television, Zambia.

It noted that Anass Sabit, Joy News, Ghana, won the Future Talent award for highlighting the plight of a community battling the absence of water amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

It said the 6th edition attracted close to 100 entries across 16 African countries, adding that 66 entries were shortlisted for an independent jury to select the overall winners and that they assessed the entries on set criteria, including raising awareness on a current news story or other noteworthy insurance issue.

The winners will receive an exclusive year-long mentorship to develop their insurance sector reporting skills further. This is in addition to cash prizes and attendance at the next Continental Re’s CEO summit, health situation and government restrictions permitting, it said.

Michael Wilson, Chair of the judging panel, said, “We were inspired by the diversity in the reporting showcasing varied angles on the subject of insurance. We reviewed entries that connected with the audience in exciting and balanced ways. We encourage all who participated to continue carrying the message of insurance as this will, over time, positively change the trajectory of the insurance subject.

“I want to thank my fellow co-judges Shiam Appannah, Nadia Acogny-Mensah, Gareth Stokes, Jared Obuya and Kenneth Igbomor for their work in reviewing the submissions.”

Lawrence Nazare, newly-installed Group Managing Director, Continental Reinsurance Plc, added, “Currently, insurance penetration ranges between one and three percent in most African countries. But this is a sector on the up and the subject is gaining appreciation. As industry players, we have the responsibility to encourage and inspire journalists to report on insurance.

“And as a pan-African entity, we welcome this year’s improved geographic diversity of the finalists’ and balanced gender inclusivity. Two female journalists made it to the top whilst the winners represented five different countries: Senegal, Kenya, South Africa, Zambia and Ghana.

“I want to congratulate all the winners. Continue to tell the insurance story and remain great role models to other insurance reporters. We are optimistic that reach and positive perception of insurance will be expanded and subsequently the uptake of insurance products enhanced across Africa.”

The awards show was hosted online by Michael Wilson, and the following winners and runner-up positions were recognized:

Best Re/Insurance Print Article – English

Name of Entrant Media Organization


Entry Headline

Winner Patrick Alushula, Nation Media Group, Kenya, Covid-19 job losses lift profile of layoff covers.

Second prize, Nelson Muhoozi Mandela, New Vision Printing & Publishing Co, Uganda, Microinsurance pivotal in enabling growth of SMEs.

Third Prize, Beldeen Nambobi Waliaula, Standard Group Media, Kenya, Lack of health insurance exposes many to disaster.

Third Prize, Tunde Ajaja, Punch Newspaper, Nigeria, #EndSARS violence: Harvest of losses for looted businesses without insurance.

Best Re/Insurance Online Article – English

Winner, Londiwe Buthelezi, Fin24, South Africa, An economic and insurance disaster’: The lockdown claims case that shook an industry.

Second prize, Felix Dela Klutse, Business Day Media, Ghana, Ghana’s Insurance Sector in line with global best practices.

Third prize, Chuks Udo Okonta, Inspenonline Limited, Nigeria, Insurers moving beyond claims settlement amid COVID-19

Best Re/Insurance Broadcast (TV/Radio) Article – English

Winner, Mwape Zulu Kumwenda, Prime Television, Zambia, Insurance in livestock.

Second prize, Destiny Onyemihia, Voice of Nigeria, Nigeria, Cybersecurity: An Imperative for Insurance Companies in Nigeria.

Third Prize, Mercy Tyra Murengu, Online Journalist, Kenya, UNDERSTANDING RE-INSURANCE.

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