The winners of the first annual African Blogger Awards have been announced. Entries were open in four main categories, including the Best African Blog, Best African YouTube Channel, Best African Instagrammer and Best African Twitter profile, as well as across 36 sub-categories.

The competition saw 520 entries from 27 African countries, marking the first time that influencers across the continent competed against one another.

Winners were chosen in two of the four main categories, with Kenya’s Niaje being named as the best blog in Africa and South Africa’s Gareth Pon as the best Instagrammer in Africa. There were no winners in the Best Twitter Personality or Best YouTuber categories.

The 36 sub-categories included sectors such as Advice, Fashion and Beauty, Events and Nightlife, Education, Sports, Political, Technology and Gadgets, and Youth Culture among others. Not every category attracted a winner this year.

The sub-category winners are:
* Advice – The Techie Guy (South Africa)
* Arts and Culture – 10and5 (South Africa)
* Brand Blog – Brandslut (South Africa)
* Business – Techloy (Nigeria)
* Digital Marketing – GOtta Quirk (South Africa)
* Education – Campus Portal Nigeria (Nigeria)
* Entertainment – Just Curious (South Africa)
* Events and Nightlife – Nairobi Now (Kenya )
* Fashion and Beauty – Curvy Chronicles (Kenya)
* Finance – FNB Blog (South Africa)
* Hobbies – Fortress of Solitude (South Africa)
* Lifestyle – We are Awesome (South Africa)
* Music – Ghana Music (Ghana)
* Niche Market – Actors (Kenya)
* Other – Africa Business Magazine (across the continent)
* Parenting – Rattle and Mum (South Africa)
* Personal – Xtian Dela (Kenya)
* Photography – The Pretty Blog (South Africa)
* Specific to Your Country – BongoSwaggs (Kenya)
* Sports – The Bounce (South Africa)
Technology and Gadgets – Lazy Gamer (South Africa)
* Travel – Getaway (South Africa)
* Youth Culture – The Travel Manuel (South Africa).

There were no winners in the Marketing and Media, Automotive, DIY Blog, Entrepreneur, Expat, Health and Beauty, Political, Religious, or Food and Drink categories.

“The competition received entries from all corners of the continent including Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Benin, Mali, Morocco, Togo, Cameroon, Malawi and Eritrea, to name a few, with the diversity of nationalities being a clear indication that social media influencers across Africa have welcomed the opportunity to be measured quantitatively against their peers,” says Murray Legg, co-founder of the African Blogger Awards.

“The calibre of entries into the Awards reveals how social media marketing is growing in influence across the continent,” says Mike Sharman, co-founder of the African Blogger Awards. “The entrants’ combined audiences total over 5,6-million blog visitors, 10,2-million Twitter followers, 2,5-million Instagram followers, with YouTube channels offering a combined 75-million views.”

The most popular entry categories were Entertainment, Lifestyle, as well as Technology and Gadgets, reflecting the most common interests of connected Africans. “This shows us that readers want to know about the latest lifestyle trends, the opportunities to be social in real life and online, and they want to stay up to date with the technology that makes all of this possible,” says Sharman.

Winners in each category receive a commemorative trophy and a web banner announcing their achievement that can be personally-leveraged through their social network.