Larry Madowo wins 2020 Philip Greer Award for Financial Writing in the US

Kenyan journalist and Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economics and Business Journalism at Columbia University Larry Madowo has won the 2020 Philip Greer Scholarship Award for Financial Writing.

Madowo, formerly working with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) as Africa’s Business Editor spent several months reporting on Jumia Group’s first year on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) from Lagos, Berlin, Nairobi and New York for his Columbia Journalism School master’s thesis which is a 9,000-word piece.

The Greer Prize is an annual award given to persons who have “Outstanding Scholarly Publication or Research” for one or two junior faculty members in the Natural and Social Sciences fields.

It has a value of $1,000 (Ksh106, 790).

In a statement, Madowo elatedly said that: “I pored over hundreds of pages, visited 5 countries & recorded hours of interviews for the Jumia project. I’ll keep the full thing until @Columbia gives me my degree (tomorrow!) but I published a short & sweet excerpt with the BBC.” 

He added that “I spent months reporting on Jumia’s first year on the NYSE from Lagos, Berlin, Nairobi & New York for my @ColumbiaJournMA thesis. My 9,000-word piece just won the 2020 Philip Greer Award for Financial Writing. I’m also co-authoring an MBA case study on it at @Columbia_Biz School.”

Winnie O’ Kelley, an Executive Editor at Bloomberg News and Professor of Business Journalism at Columbia University hailed Madowo’s tenacity saying: “ Congrats @LarryMadowo, recipient of Geer prize @ColumbiaJournMA for 2020!”

In the short excerpt published by BBC, he highlights Jumia – an e-commerce platform – which seemingly fell from its high pedestal over the months to post dismal results at NYSE.

“A year after its much-heralded debut on the New York Stock Exchange, e-commerce start-up Jumia has shut down in three African states, struggled to turn a profit and got dumped by its original owners,” reads part of the excerpt which highlights the challenges Jumia has had to grapple with.