Africa’s Most Respected Media CEO, Mr. Pap Saine, was chauffeured in a limousine from the hotel reception to the event grounds. It is about 25 minutes drive to the venue, where he joined other dignitaries around the world to raise glasses for his 51 years achievement in the media.
On days like these, Mr. Saine does not forget to remember his childhood friend, Deyda Hydara, whose mission as a pro-democracy journalist was cut short by an assassin's bullet in 2004. So he used the occasion to pay homage to his co-publisher:
“My partner and brother was killed on the 16 December 2004 because he was fighting injustice and spoke for the voiceless. The former regime of Yahya Jammeh saw him as a threat and ordered his ‘junglers’ to kill him. But I will continue his legacy with my able staff and his family,” he told the ceremony, attended by over 500 dignitaries.
The Business Executive Magazine is a Ghana Based monthly publication with a circulation of one million readers around the world. The event was initially scheduled to be hosted in Addis Ababa but due to the ongoing war with Eritrea, coupled with the fact that many African countries are going through the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, Dubai became the obvious option. Also, many African countries are enforcing travel restrictions during this period.
Besides the killing of his friend by Junglers, Mr. Saine himself suffered several arrests, detention and harassment by the regime of Yahya Jammeh, he told the ceremony. He nonetheless remained steadfast against such odds and continued to uphold the torch of freedom and democracy as their paper’s motto promised.
Now it has come to 51 years of service to the media, an experience spanning both print and electronic work. He has been the longest serving stringer for Reuters news agency in West and Central Africa (45 years now).
Mr. Saine thanked the organisers for recognising his work for the past 51 years. He recognised and commended the Barrow government for ensuring that freedom of expression is upheld in The Gambia today, for the media to operate with no censorship, killing or burning of media houses as it obtained before.
“I Appeal to African governments and the business community to assist the press and do business with them. We should fight injustice, promote good governance and be objective in our reporting,” he said.
There are other awards dedicated to some African companies doing well on the continent.
Kebba Sama Dampha, first secretary at Gambian Embassy of the United Arab Emirates handed over the award to Mr. Saine as “Africa’s Most Respected Media CEO” awardee.