In a statement at the weekend, Associate Director of DAILY TRUST, Aliu Akoshile said ideal nominees should be ordinary Africans who have made extra-ordinary positive contributions to humanity in any part of the continent.
Mr. Akoshile disclosed that the award consists of three components, namely, a permanent plaque, a certificate of merit and a cash reward in aid of the awardee’s charity project.
He said a valid entry will be for works, events or activities undertaken by the nominee between October 1, 2015 and September 30, 2016 adding that nominations are to be made online at award.dailytrust.com.ng
Mr. Akoshile said the eventual winner will be 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 African of the Year award was inaugurated in 2008 by DAILY TRUST in fulfillment of the newspaper’s commitment to African unity and sustainable development across the continent.
With this annual award, Mr. Akoshile said the newspapers hopes to entrench the culture of selflessness among Africans with the aim of creating a pool of role-models for others to emulate.
The maiden award was presented to a Congolese gynecologist, Dr. Denis Mukwege, in recognition of his exemplary humanitarian offer of free reconstructive surgery to victims of rape in the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC.
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.