Aldekoa asks for a pause for stories like his from Africa, winner of the Saliou Traoré Prize | EFE Communicates | Top stories

Aldekoa asks for a pause for stories like his from Africa, winner of the Saliou Traoré Prize | EFE Communicates
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The Catalan journalist Xavier Aldekoa, which this Thursday received the III Saliou Traoré Prize for Journalism in Spanish on Africa, has vindicated the need to “pause in these times of rush” to tell stories like his, that of ten children and adolescents from ten African countries with whom he has obtained this award.

“Africa. A future with names and surnames” is the name of the work, illustrated with photographs of Alfons Rodriguez, after three years of dedication and for which they have received numerous congratulations at the headquarters of Africa House in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, an organization that together with the Efe Agency are the creators of the award, endowed with 5,000 euros and a statuette of María de Frutos, National Prize of Plastic Arts in 2015.

The general director of Casa África, Jose Segura, and the president of the Efe Agency, Gabriela Cañas, have highlighted the value of Aldekoa’s journalistic report, which “flees from stereotypes” and presents “full and brave lives and many dreams to be realized” and, above all, responds to a quality journalism.

It is a series published in National Geographic Magazine, which in the words of Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, José Manuel Albares, “is the living X-ray of the continent and shows the germ of the most immediate future” of Africa.

In some statements sent in a video, the minister stressed that the experiences of these children and young people show progress in education, health and the rights of women and men. “They allow us to know first-hand the new challenges” of the continent and its growth, in which Spain wants to be together with Africa.

For Albares, “experiences such as those narrated are a faithful reflection of the concerns and the desire to improve African societies and help to get to know the insides” of the continent, for which he also congratulated Casa Africa and the Efe Agency for promote journalism in Spanish.

The author of the work, who has traveled to more than 50 African countries, has expressed the “privilege” that has been supposed to have been able to listen to the protagonists of the stories that counts “and assert that enormous generosity” that they have shown to the make you participate in your experiences.

But his prize wants it to be “a vindication of the pause, of the need in these times when everything is going fast, to dedicate time to stories and people out of respect for the protagonists, because that is how they strip off the labels of victims to whom we often condemn them “and thus bring out their deep thoughts and dignity.

Aldekoa has revealed that they also went through fear for their lives at times, such as when they entered the jungle in the Congo to tell the story of the two child soldiers, although he has confessed his passion for their profession and has remarked that “they are not good times for international journalism and less so in Africa “, after receiving the statuette from the hands of the Mayor of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Augusto Hidalgor.

The covid-19 pandemic has worsened this situation, especially for “freelancers” and has “left a world hurt and afraid”, and with new differences, because in Africa the vaccinated population does not reach 3 percent and Europe is considering putting the third dose of the vaccine, the journalist lamented.

In any case, “telling what happens is more necessary to build bridges and see that we are not so different”, according to the new Saliou Traoré award, which he shares with his friend and co-worker, the photographer Alfons Rodríguez.

The latter has repaired in the story they tell of the two Gambian students who want to be photographers, because when he did the photographic report on a beach among fishermen, they were the focus of attention and not they, the Europeans, because they were shocked by the situation, that two girls of 18 and 19 years they will ask and photograph them.

“This change is very important” to understand the evolution of women in The Gambia and throughout the continent, where, of course, there is a long way to goRodríguez has stated.

Like Aldekoa, he has felt “the obligation and responsibility to thank” those who “They have lent themselves to let me tell their stories”, where appropriate, photograph them.

Souleymane Traoré, son of the Efe correspondent for more than 30 in Dakar and in whose memory the award was created, he congratulated the winners through a video for their excellent work, and thanked the Efe Agency and Casa África for doing everything possible to award it this year, for the third time, despite the difficult situation that is lived due to the pandemic.

The Senegal’s Ambassador to Spain, Mariame Sy, has recalled the figure of Saliou Traoré in another video that has been shown and has stated that the “great merit” of Aldekoa’s work is to evoke with sensitive testimonies from the children who star in it “the challenges and achievements of a continent complex and constantly evolving “.

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Remon Buul

Chairman of the board of directors responsible for organizing and developing the general policy of the website and the electronic newspaper, he is interested in public affairs and in monitoring the latest international developments.

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