African Blogger Awards Competition has opened new categories to celebrate sociopolitical and socio-economic bloggers.

Through a new partnership with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the three new categories aim to raise awareness of social issues that affect the continent. These are: Women and Girls’ empowerment, Public Health Social issues and Active Citizenship. Through this new development, bloggers who have interest in sociopolitical issues now have a platform where their efforts in bringing in such messages and information on a public spectrum can be appreciated.

As blogging has shown strides in its power of influence, these bloggers particularly within these categories bring stories that are usually not found within mainstream media, therefore creating a holistic approach to unearthing stories on African development.

Speaking on this new partnership, African Blogger Awards co-founder Murray Legg said that influencers (bloggers) are story tellers as much as journalists are, and often have stories that are missed in mainstream media due to geographical limitations and staffing constraints usually found in big media. “Awards. “They are able to spread news about critical issues to the audiences that they’ve built. The three new categories recognize the importance of their reporting.” He further added.

Through the new association through the largest privately funded philanthropic organization, African Blogger Awards can highlight bloggers that bring to light issues of importance to our social development. In a statement from Melinda and Bill Gates foundation, Africa Director for the foundation Dr Ayo Ajiya noted his pleasantries in being a partner for African Blogger Awards. “We believe that bloggers and social media influencers play an important role in highlighting the great successes and continuing challenges facing African development. “ He said. “We look forward to engaging more with these bloggers and influencers in our work in the future,” he added.

Entries for the awards close April 19th 2016 with winners announced June 3rd in an online ceremony. Keen on Applying? Apply here.