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.