Nick Blazquez, President, Diageo Africa
The President, Diageo Africa, Turkey, Russia & Eastern Europe, Mr. Nick Blazquez, has stated that improving the quantity and quality of business reporting can play a significant role in generating business interest and increasing inward investment in Africa.
Blazquez, who made this known in a statement by his company to announce its annual Africa Business Reporting Awards, said his belief was as a result of his experience as a long-term investor in Africa.
“As a result, these awards were launched in 2004 as a practical way of raising awareness of economic opportunity in Africa and to celebrate excellent business journalism. In 2013, ten years on from the Awards’ inception, Africa’s profile as a business and investment destination is higher than ever. This is reflected in the fact that the Awards have continued to grow year on year and, in 2012, attracted more than 1000 entries from 27 countries, “he said.
The statement further reads: “Diageo Africa Business Reporting Awards 2013 are already attracting high-quality entries from the best journalists around the world. The Awards celebrate their ten-year anniversary in 2013 and will once again showcase the most influential and innovative journalism from and about Africa. All journalists, writers, photographers, reporters and media houses are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. In order to provide every opportunity for submissions, we have extended the final date for entries to 22 March 2013.”
The company in the statement noted: “Diageo, the world's leading premium drinks business, today issued the final call for entries to the tenth annual Diageo Africa Business Reporting Awards. The Awards recognise the achievements of business journalists reporting on the continent and provide a prestigious forum for international recognition of their work.
“The awards are open to all journalists reporting on Africa, in any medium, and of any nationality. Submissions are accepted in English and in French. Entries will be reviewed by a high-profile judging panel –further details will be announced soon. The shortlisted finalists from each category will be flown to London for the Gala Ceremony in July. Winners will each receive £500 and a specially commissioned sculpture.
The awards are free to enter and the open period for entries has been extended to 22 March. Submissions are welcomed for the following categories: Best Information and Communication Technology (ICT) feature, Best Finance feature, Best Infrastructure feature, Best Agribusiness/Environment feature, Best Tourism feature, Best Business News story, Best Business feature, Best Newcomer, Media of the Year and Journalist of the Year.”
Blazquez further commented, “We look forward to celebrating the ten-year anniversary of the Diageo Africa Business Reporting Awards. At Diageo, we are honoured to have seen the Awards grow over the past decade from a relatively small beginning into an international event, which receives more than 1000 entries. I am particularly pleased with the number of different countries that are represented at the awards, which demonstrates the increased prominence of African business reporting, both across the continent and around the world. In this celebratory year, our judging panel will be looking for submissions that are insightful, balanced and ground-breaking, and which bring a fresh perspective to bear on business issues.”
On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of Diageo Plc and chair of the judging panel, Paul Walsh, said, “Confidence in Africa as an investment destination is growing and the media play a key role in defining the world’s perceptions of the continent as a good place to do business. As a long-term investor in Africa, Diageo continues to be an advocate for economic development, better business environments and greater flows of trade.”
The closing date for entries is Friday 22 March 2013. Finalists will be announced on Tuesday7 May 2013. The Awards Ceremony will be held in Central London on Thursday 11 July 2012. There are no entry fees.