The awards, which took place earlier this month, are hosted by African Academy of Sciences with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It aims to recognise and honour excellent reporting on science and scientific innovation across Africa.

Edmunds won the award for a five-part series on innovations and challenges faced by the farming community in terms of how to adapt to ensure food security for the future.

The stories looked at innovation in farming methods and the support that small farmers need to succeed. The series also explored the 'nitty-gritty' of the climate crisis. It ran as part of the Land Project, a City Press, Rapport and Landbouweekblad initiative, which culminated in last year's Land Indaba.

"We are extremely proud of Gayle Edmund for winning this award," says Ané Honiball, general manager for Ads24. "Her ability as an editor across a range of content topics and types is what stood out for us when we were looking to appoint someone to head up our Content Hub."

"Her ability to zone in on what's important and relay it in an engaging way has proved a huge asset for the Hub, as has her integrity and the high command of journalistic principles," adds Honiball. 

"As with any content put together for a publication or a project (be it editorial or paid for), the key to success lies in creating a clear brief, building a compelling diary, [as well as] assigning the right content creators — with the required experience — for the job," says Edmunds.

"This journalistic process is as closely adhered to for branded content as it is for organic editorial content. It's vital for any kind of content to answer the all-important question: So what?" adds Edmunds.

"Why does this matter to the reader? Why should she or he care about this? It is an editor's job to ensure content — whatever the format — informs, educates or entertains readers. But it must also go beyond this. Content should shift mindsets, make people think and in some way help them make informed decisions about their own lives," says Edmunds.

"Brands that want to achieve content that creates a high level of awareness and gets people engaged, need to understand that high caliber content creators are essential," concludes Edmunds.  

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