Joy News’ Joseph Opoku Gakpo has been honoured with the Young Leader in Agric Journalism Award by the International Federation of Agric Journalists (IFAJ) for 2018.
Gakpo and nine other journalists/communicators from around the world are being honoured for demonstrating outstanding achievement in reporting as well as excellent potential as leaders of the industry in the years to come.
Opoku Gakpo who is Deputy General Secretary of the Ghana Agricultural and Rural Development Journalists Association (GARDJA), an affiliate organisation of the IFAJ, is one of only two African journalists awarded. Marike Brits of Plaas Media in South Africa is the other.
The rest are; Lydia Burton of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Katie Knapp of The Ag Photographer – USA, Ashley Robinson of the Commodity News Service in Canada, Oonagh O’Mahony of IFP Media in the Republic of Ireland, Tuulikki Viilo from Finland, Rasmus Bue Willesen from Denmark, Dagmar Deutsch from Germany and Hannes Baumgartner of Austria.
The IFAJ/Alltech Young Leaders Award was established in 2006 by the IFAJ and agricultural firm Alltech to recognize emerging leaders in agricultural journalism from around the world.
The honourees were chosen by an international jury from many of IFAJ’s 43 member countries.
In addition to global recognition, Young Leaders will participate in professional development and networking programs held in conjunction with IFAJ’s annual congress which comes off in the Netherlands in July.
“Over the past 12 years, we have seen IFAJ/Alltech Young Leaders excel in their careers and help strengthen our industry,” noted Steve Werblow, IFAJ secretary general.
“They go home and bring their energy and skills to help their guilds, and many alumni of this program have taken leadership roles within IFAJ. We are grateful to Alltech for its long commitment to the future of agricultural journalism, and grateful to these enthusiastic young colleagues for their contributions—now and in the years to come,” he added.
The IFAJ award adds to a list of honours Opoku Gakpo has received over the last few years. In 2016, Cornell University’s Alliance for Science Programme named him a Global Leadership Fellow.
He is also a recipient of Ghana Journalist Association Best Journalist in Poverty Alleviation reporting as well as Sustainable Development Goals Reporting in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
Last year, he was also awarded for excellence in Agric reporting in Uganda.