by Arusha Times Reporter
A Tanzanian freelance journalist has won the inaugural Sineheya Guturo Pastoralist Media Fellowship launched by Panos Eastern Africa recently.
Zephania Ubwani (pictured) who writes for a number of local and foreign newspapers and feature syndications, was recently declared winner, of the fellowship which was competed for a number of journalists from Eastern Africa region.
The fellowship has been instituted by Panos to commemorate the work of the late Sineheya Francis Guturo who was the pastoralist communication programme coordinator for Panos Eastern Africa who died in December 2000.
Ubwani, who was among the pre-qualified journalists called to Kampala, Uganda was declared the winner and would be assigned to conduct research highlighting the plight and prospects of the pastoralists in the region.
Panos Eastern Africa whose head offices are located in Kampala covers eight countries in East Africa and the Horn of Africa. These are Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea and Ethiopia.
Speaking during the launching ceremony, Panos officials said the fellowship has been instituted for an initial five year period and would be administered competitively journalists.
Panos Pastoralist Communication Programme Coordinator, Dr. Sarah Ossiya said besides investigative research at the grassroots the research fellow is expected to contexualise the pastoralist issues in the larger political, social and economic framework.
Sineheya Guturo was a Kenyan communication expert who was largely responsible for pushing the pastoralist and pastoralism agenda within Panos vast network of activcities in the region.
Ubwani who hails form the pastoral community of Barbaigs in Hanang district, Manyara region, said his research would certainly cover the Manyara and Arusha regions which are the traditional home of typical pastoralists in Tanzania.
He also said he would visit other areas in the country where pastoralists have settled in recent years as a way to sustain their livelihood in the wake of drought, shortage of animal feed, pressure from agricultural activities and growing livestock population.
Ubwani holds several diplomas in journalism and a BA in Geography specializing in natural resource and environment from the University of Dar es Salaam. He has also attended several short training courses on matters pertaining to science technology, environment and conservation matters.
This is third fellowship he has won. In 1985 he won the Third World Media Fellowship organized by the London based International Institute of Environment and Development (IIED)/Earthscan) and in 2001 he won another fellowship by the United Nations Habitat Programme (UN-Habitat).
July 25, 2003.