By Usman Shuaibu
A leading independent newspaper in Nigeria, DAILY TRUST, has called for nomination of exemplary personalities for the coveted African of the Year 2019. Nominations are open from August 19, 2019 to October 18, 2019.
In a statement issued at the weekend, CEO/Editor-in-Chief of Media Trust Limited, publishers of DAILY TRUST, Mr. Mannir Dan-Ali, said ideal nominees should be ordinary Africans who have made extra-ordinary contributions to humanity in any field from any part of the continent.
Mr. Dan-Ali 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 or his/her chosen charity project.
Valid entries for the 2019 award will be for works, events or activities undertaken by the nominee between October 1, 2018 and September 30, 2019 and nominations are to be made online at award.dailytrust.com. The eventual winner will be selected by a seven-member prize committee chaired by his Excellency, Mr. Festus Mogae, former President of Botswana.
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 Media Trust Limited, Mr. Kabiru Yusuf represents the award promoters.
Now in its 12th edition, the African of the Year Award was inaugurated in 2008 by DAILY TRUST in fulfilment of the newspaper’s commitment to African unity and sustainable development across the continent.
With this annual award, Mr. Dan-Ali said the newspaper 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 gynaecologist, 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. He also won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018, which is 10 years after DAILY TRUST, recognised his remarkable humanitarian gesture.
Last year’s award was won by five Kenyan Girls (Stacy Owino, Purity Achieng, Ivy Akinyi, Synthia Otieno and Macrine Atieno) (2018), for developing a mobile application that is used in helping to tackle Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).