Keni Lesa receives warm welcome from FAO Subregional Representative, Eriko Hibi

17/08/2017 Asia, Samoa

FAO Subregional Office in Samoa celebrated the achievement of the editor of the Samoa Observer Newspaper, Mr Mata’afa Keni Lesa, in receiving the FAO A.H Boerma award. This is the first that the prestigious award was given to a journalist from the Pacific region.

Mr Lesa traveled to Rome to receive the award from the Director-General of FAO, José Graziano da Silva at a special ceremony held during the annual FAO Conference.

Upon his return to Samoa, FAO hosted a welcome which was attended by representatives of the Government of Samoa, members of the diplomatic Corps and colleagues from the media.

In her opening remarks FAO Subregional Coordinator for the Pacific Islands, Ms Eriko Hibi said “Keni is recognised for his dedication to agriculture and food security issues, particularly regarding the challenges faced by Small Island Developing States, in his role as editor of a leading Pacific daily newspaper”. She continued. “His strong ability to communicate complicated issues through an accessible writing style has successfully captured the attention of the general public and given great visibility to FAO’s work in the region”.

Mr Lesa said he is thankful for the by the Award. ” I am proud to represent the people of Samoa on this global stage. So I speak as a Samoan, a son and a chief of the Pacific Islands and a teller of our stories. We have wonderful stories the world should hear being told through our own lenses”.

“This award is not about me. I am a product of a family, villages, churches and a nation. I represent a journey, a people’s dreams and aspirations and our common yearning to be the difference and to make a difference”.

About the A. H. Boerma Award

In recognition of the important role of the media in the fight against hunger, FAO has since 1979 presented the A.H. Boerma Award to journalists or groups of journalists, from around the world, who have brought food security and rural development issues in developing countries to the attention of civil society.

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