Egyptian TV journalist Mona Sweilam won first place at the Nile Media Awards for her coverage of the conflicts and negotiations surrounding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
Sweilam’s in-depth coverage was originally part of the programme she presents on Nile TV, alongside a further article entitled “A win-win situation” published in Al-Ahram Weekly earlier in March.
The article discussed both countries’ points-of-view towards the dam, taking from interviews with the Speaker of the House of the People’s Representatives of Ethiopia Aba-Dula Gemeda, and President of the Arab Water Council and Honorary President of the World Water Council Mahmoud Abu-Zeid.
Gemeda is Ethiopia’s former minister of national defence and former chief of intelligence. Abu-Zeid played a pivotal role in launching the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) in 1999, and took part in the negotiations related to the Nile River.
The Nile River Awards is from the NBI, in corporation with Deutsche Welle (DW) Akademie, Global Water Partnership Eastern Africa, Nile Basin Discourse and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ).
In her speech, Sweilam blamed the governments for denying journalists the right to freedom of expression and access to accurate and reliable information. She also pointed that media is partly responsible for escalating conflicts in the Nile River.