The opportunity for nominating candidates for the African of the Year 2016 award, which is promoted by Media Trust Limited in Nigeria, will end in on Friday, September 30, 2016, barely two weeks for now.
Media Trust Limited, with headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria, are the publishers of the Daily Trust newspapers, one of Nigeria’s leading independent newspaper. The newspaper promotes the African of the Year award in fulfillment of its commitment to African unity and sustainable development across the continent.
Other publications by the Daily Trust include Aminiya, a Hausa Language newspaper, and Kilimanjaro, a magazine that covers the African continent .
The African of the year award was initiated in 2008 to recognize and reward, exemplary Africans for their extraordinary contributions to human development in any part of the continent, and in any sphere of human endeavour.
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.