Former President of Botswana, Mr. Festus Mogae, has accepted his nomination to Chair the reconstituted Prize Committee of the DAILY TRUST African of the Year award.
In a letter he personally signed and which was delivered through the High Commissioner of Botswana to Nigeria, Lt. Gen. L. M. Fisher, Mogae said he accepted the appointment with humility.
He will be taking-over from Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim, pioneer Chairman of the Prize Committee and former Prime Minister of Tanzania, who completed a two-term tenure of eight years this month.
A distinguished African statesman, Mogae won the prestigious Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership in 2008 and same year he was awarded the Grand Cross of the Légion d’honneur by French President.
As this year’s edition of the DAILY TRUST Africa of the Year award has been skipped due to unforeseen exigencies, Mr. Mogae’s tenure as Chairman of the Prize Committee commences in the new year.
Other members of the reconstituted Prize Committee representing Africa’s sub-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, Malam Kabiru Yusuf, represents the award promoters.
The African of the Year Award, which was initiated in 2008 and is being supported by United Bank for Africa (UBA Plc), attracts a prize sum of US$50,000 in aid of the awardee’s humanitarian work.
Promoted by DAILY TRUST in fulfillment of the newspaper’s commitment to African unity and sustainable development, the award seeks to recognise and reward exemplary Africans for extra-ordinary contribution to human development in any part of the continent.
The maiden award for 2008 went to Dr. Denis Mukwege, a Congolese gynaecologist and humanitarian surgeon while Mr. Danny Jordan, South African sports administrator, won in 2009. In 2011, Judge Fatimata Bazeye from Niger Republic received the Award while Mr. Gregoire Ahongbonon of Benin Republic emerged winner of the 2015 award.
Some of the distinguished personalities who had served on the prize committee under Dr. Salim are: Prof. Abdoulaye Bathily, Prof. Tandeka Nkiwane, Dr. Muthoni Wanyeki, Prof. Okello Oculi, Dr. Obadiah Mailafia, Prof. Kwame Karikari, and the late Dr. Tajudeen Abdulraheem.