A leading independent newspaper in Nigeria, Daily Trust, has called for nominations of exemplary personalities for the coveted African of the Year 2020. Nominations are open from August 24, 2020 to midnight of October 24, 2020.
In a statement issued at the weekend, the chief executive of Media Trust Limited, publishers of Daily Trust, Nura Daura, said ideal nominees should be ordinary Africans who have made extra-ordinary contributions to humanity in any field from any part of the continent.
Daura 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 2020 award will be for works, events or activities undertaken by the nominee between October 1, 2019 and September 30, 2020 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), Amadou Mahtar Ba (West Africa), Gwen Lister (Southern Africa), Pascal Kambale (Central Africa) and Sylvia Tamale (East Africa). The Chairman of the Board of Media Trust Limited, Kabiru Yusuf represents the award promoters.
The Daily Trust Ag chief executive emphasised that a winner will emerge, strictly based on the selection criteria and not the number of entries submitted on his/her behalf.
Daura also disclosed that the presentation ceremony for the 2020 edition of the African of the Year Award will still hold in Abuja, Nigeria, in January, 2021, despite the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic, but in adherence with internationally established protocols for convening events under the corona virus atmosphere.
Now in its 13th 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, Daura 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 popular South African humanitarian, Rosalia Mashale, for her commitment to providing loving care to the orphans from Khayelitsha, a community afflicted by the severest AIDS epidemic in the world.