The African of the year award was initiated in 2008 to recognise and reward, exemplary Africans for their extra-ordinary contribution to human development in any part of the continent, and in any sphere of human endeavour. The award is promoted by Daily Trust, one of Nigeria’s leading independent newspaper, in fulfilment of the newspaper's commitment to African unity and sustainable development across the continent.
Candidates for the award are shortlisted from a pool of nominees whose profiles and records of contribution have gone through a rigorous process of screening.
The award consists of three components, namely, a permanent plaque, a certificate of merit and a US$50, 0000 cash reward in aid of the awardees’ charity project. The eventual winner is selected by a seven-member prize committee chaired by Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim, former Prime Minister of Tanzania and ex-scribe of the Organization of African Unity (now African Union).
Other members of the Committee who represent Africa's regional blocs are: Ambassador Mona Omar (North Africa), Mr. Amadou Mahtar Ba (West Africa), Ms. Gwen Lister (Southern Africa), Mr. Pascal Kambale (Central Africa) and Professor Sylvia Tamale (East Africa). The Chairman of the Board of DAILY TRUST, Mr. Kabiru Yusuf represents the award promoters.
Now in its 8th edition, the maiden award for 2008 went to Dr Denis Mukwege, a Congolese Gynaecologist and humanitarian surgeon. This was in recognition of his risky advocacy against the prevalent use of mass rape as a weapon of war in Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, and his offer of free reconstructive gynaecological surgeries to rape victims in the war-torn central African country.
The subsequent awards have been won by the late Dr. Tajudeen Abdulraheem (2009), Mr. Danny Jordan (2010), Judge Mrs. Fatimata Bazeye (2011), Mr. Thabo Mbeki (2012) and Dr. Donald Kaberuka (2013). The 2014 award was skipped owing to the prevalence of Ebola disease in parts of Africa while Mr. Gregoire Ahongbonon emerged winner of the 2015 award.
Some of the distinguished personalities who had served on the Prize Committee chaired by Dr. Salim are: Prof. Abdoulaye Bathily, Prof. Tandeka Nkiwane, Ms. Muthoni Wanyeki, Prof. Okello Oculi, Dr. Obadiah Mailafia, Prof. Kwame Karikari, and the late Dr. Tajudeen Abdulraheem.
The prize committee is chaired by Dr. Salim A. Salim (former Prime Minister of Tanzania and ex-scribe of African Union, AU). Other members are appointed from Africa’s regional blocs.
Tanzanian diplomat who has worked in the international diplomatic arena since the early 1960s.
Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive officer of Media Trust Limited.
CEO of African Media Initiative, Co-Founder & Executive Chairman of AllAfrica Global Media Inc,
Namibian journalist, publisher, apartheid opponent and press freedom activist.
Career diplomat with the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and a consumate educationist.
Congolese human rights lawyer, Director, country office of OSISA in DRC and Deputy Director, AfriMAP.
Leading African feminist lawyer and scholar at Makarere University in Kampala, Uganda.
The search is on. Help us find that ordinary African doing extra-ordinary things andwho is worthy of the 2016 DAILY TRUST African of the Year Award.
Fill the nomination form below to nominate a suitable candidate.
The 2015 African of the Year is Gregoire Ahongbonon, a national of the Republic of Benin, who is doing extra-ordinary work in caring for under-privileged people with mental disabilities. Ahongbonon’s St. Camille Association mission, which is based in Cote d’Ivoire, offers care, support and help to the mentality ill and also assists in their reintegration into the society.
Daily Trust African of the Year 2013, was awarded to Dr. Donald Kaberuka, a Rwandan economist and President of African Development Bank. Dr. Kaberuka was chosen for his innovative idea which led to the establishment of ‘Africa 50 Fund’ to speed-up the financing of infrastructure on the continent.
In 2010, the Daily Trust African of the year was awarded to former South African president, Thabo Mbeki . He was chosen for his outstanding leadership of the AU Panel on Sudan, his persistent and consistent involvement in the peace process, and the success of the panel in bringing Sudan and South Sudan back from the brink of war.
A 60 year old distinguished jurist from Niger, was chosen as the Daily trust African of the year 2011. Named by the military rulers who ousted Mamadou Tandja in 2010, to lead the constitutional council, an 11 member consultative body, she performed a key role in steering Niger to a successful election and democratic transition.
In 2010, the Daily trust African of the year was awarded to SouthAfrica’s Dr. Danny Jordan who was the head of the local Organizing committee for the 2010 edition of the FIFA world cup hosted by South Africa. The tournament, has been adjudged the most successful and economically profitable in the history of the mundial.
In 2009, Late Dr. Tajudeen Abdul- Raheem was awarded the Daily Trust African of the year post humously. Based largely in Kenya, Dr. Tajudeen had been a leading pan Africanist and very vocal voices in the struggle against poverty, hunger, and undemocratic regimes across the country before his death in a car accident on May 26, 2009.
In 2008, Congolese gynecologist, Dr. Dennis Mukwege won the first Daily Trust African of the year award for his reconstructive surgeries on rape victims and also the surgical and psychological care given to women and children who were traumatized and brutalized in the war torn Democratic republic of Congo.