‘Why there’s no Daily Trust African of the Year 2021 Award’
Daily Trust has announced there is no winner of the 2021 Daily Trust African of the Year Award. The decision was made following deliberations by the Selection Board of the Award, which is chaired by former President of the Republic of Botswana, Festus Mogae.
Announcing the decision, yesterday, Mogae said the Daily Trust African of the Year Award recognises ordinary Africans who have made extraordinary contributions to humanity in any field of endeavour, from any part of the continent.
“Based on the rigorous criteria for the selection of the Award winner, the Award Committee could not grant the Award in 2021,” the statement signed by Mogae reads.
The Selection Board held a virtual meeting on December 17, 2021, during which it reviewed the credentials of eight Africans who made it to the final round of the selection process, and concluded there was “no winner of the Award for this year”.
The eight finalists were drawn from a total of 211 African men and women who were nominated for the coveted Daily Trust African of the Year Award, at the close of submissions for the 2021 Award at midnight of October 22, 2021. The call for nominations for the Award was opened on August 22, 2021.
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), and Pastor Rigobert Minani Bihuzo (Central Africa). The Chairman of the Board of Media Trust Limited, Mr. Kabiru Yusuf, represents the Award promoters.
Now in its 14th 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 yearly award, 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 war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC. He also won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018, 10 years after Daily Trust had recognised his remarkable humanitarian gesture.
Last year’s award was won by Musu Bakoto Sawo, a Gambian change maker and tireless women rights advocate, for her continuous commitment to ending violence against girls and women, including child marriage and female genital mutilation.