A Nigerian journalist, Benjamin Ezeamalu won the award on Thursday for his work debunking claims about legislation on the age of sexual consent.
AFP reports that Benjamin Ezeamalu, of the Nigerian online news site Premium Times, collected the award, at a ceremony in Johannesburg, which was launched in 2014 to encourage fact-checking journalism by media across Africa.
The prizes are run by Africa Check, an independent, non-profit organisation created in 2012 by the AFP Foundation, the media training arm of the AFP news agency.
Ezeamalu secured the 2,000-euro ($2,145) winner’s cheque after a jury considered 51 competition entries from 15 countries ranging from Ethiopia and Egypt in the north to South Africa and Zimbabwe in the south.
“Fact checking is a really important part of journalism. It is necessary that as journalists we hold public figures to account for what they say,” Ezeamalu said at the ceremony.Peter Cunliffe-Jones, founder of Africa Check, hailed the winning report for “taking a claim on a sensitive topic — the age of consent in Nigeria — and clinically, carefully examining the evidence to show it was false.”
The two runner-up prizes went to South African journalists Phillip de Wet, of the Mail & Guardian newspaper, and Pieter-Louis Myburgh, from the Media24 news group.