The AfriComNet Annual Award for Excellence in HIV and AIDS communication in Africa was established in 2007 to recognize outstanding contributions made by individuals/organizations in strengthening and popularizing strategic communication as a necessary tool for health and development.
The awards aim at encouraging innovation and to highlight the highest standards of performance in strategic communication as a necessary tool for health and development, and showcase those tools, strategies and programs that can be adapted, replicated and applied as best practices.
At the same time, AfriComNet also established the Chairman’s Award (Now Gail Goodridge Award) to recognize individuals for their sustained enthusiasm, insight, dedication, and innovation in the use of communication about HIV.
The first Award Ceremony took place in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2007. Winners were from Uganda, Kenya, Zambia, and South Africa. The chairman’s award was given post humously to the late Omulolu Falobi, the founder of the Journalists against AIDS (JAAIDS) Nigeria.
The second award ceremony was held in Kampala, Uganda in 2008, alongside the HIV Implementers meeting. There were 18 nomination and 8 countries this year. Winners were from Uganda, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Rwanda and Zambia.
In 2009, the third Award ceremony was held in Windhoek Namibia, also on the sidelines of the 2009 HIV Implementers meeting. There were 28 entries during this year and the winners came from South Africa, Ethiopia, and Zimbabwe. During this year, the Board of Directors decided that the Chairman’s award be given to a distinguished individual from the host country of the award ceremony. This year’s Chairman’s Award was given to Philippe Talavera of the Ombetja Yehinga Organization.
The 2010 Award for Excellence received a considerable increase in the number of entries with a total of 44 nominations received from 13 counties. The award Ceremony was held in Johannesburg alongside the AfriComNet Practicum on HIV Prevention amongst Married and or Cohabiting couples in Africa in Johannesburg, South Africa. There were 4 winners from Uganda, Zambia, Ethiopia and Namibia.
The fifth Award ceremony was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia alongside the 16th International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA) in 2011.
2012 saw the addition of the Social/New media category. A total of 46 entries were received from 13 countries. Four of the five winners came from South Africa, and one from Nigeria. The Chairman’s Award was given to Dr. Negussie Teffara of the Population Media Council in Ethiopia.