THE BIG DEBATE BURSTS BACK - WITH REDI TLHABI

Friday, August 29, 2014

With Africa's growing Ebola outbreak spreading, comes concern over the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards planned for Tanzania.

With the outbreak of the deadly Ebola diseas in Africa's growing and accelerating, comes concern over the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards 2014 planned to take place in Tanzania.

To be clear: There's been no reported and confirmed cases of Ebola in Tanzania; there's been no international travel restrictions placed on visiting or leaving Tanzania, and there's no fear about travelling to Tanzania.

Health authorities in Africa and internationally are however advising caution regarding international travel in and to Africa generally with travel advisories which had been issued.

What has however been happening is that confirmed cases of Ebola, the latest outbreak of which started in West Africa, have been inching closer and closer to the East Africa country of Tanzania and others.

Confirmed cases of Ebola have been reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) - which is now only one country (Burundi) removed from Tanzania.

The CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards which alternates bi-annually between South Africa and another African country, is supposed to be taking place in Tanzania on Saturday 18 October in Dar Es Salaam.

Whether Africa's most prestigious competition rewarding excellence in journalism on the continent will continue if Ebola spreads to Tanzania is not clear, nor whether the organisers have started looking at an alternative country, or would perhaps hold it in South Africa again where its logistically easiest to mount the awards show production and the education conference.

On Thursday the World Health Organisation (WHO) said the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is actually accelerating and that more than 3 000 people have now been infected. The WHO said that 20 000 people might become ill before this Ebola outbreak subsides.

MultiChoice and CNN International both tell TV with Thinus the pan-African satellite pay-TV platform and the international TV news channel are "monitoring the situation so as to ensure plans are adopted effectively".