Some activists in Africa have been recognised for promoting peace, justice and human rights across the continent.
The Award which was given by Africans Rising, a Pan-African movement said the award was in recognition of their selfless contributions towards the attainment of democracy, justice, human rights, good governance in the African continent.
The three African activists are, Wilson Atumeyi, a Nigerian who won the Activist of the Year, Youth for Parliament, a Zambian movement won the Movement of the year category and Joice Zou, a Poet from Angola won the Artistic Activist of the Year.
The winners were awarded One Thousand dollars each, the First Runners up were awarded Five Hundred Dollars each while the Second Runners Up bagged Three Hundred Thousand Dollars each.
The awards of three categories; Activist of the Year, Movement of the Year, and Artistic Activist of the Year were presented to the winners in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
Co-Chair of the Movement, Wangui wa Ngoro said the award aims at encouraging young African activists pushing for the desired change on the African continent and to spur others to join the cause.
Ngoro also stressed that the movement is not an enemy of government but one which its vision is in line with the African Union Vision 2063 that spells out politically what Africans want in line with the constitutions of countries.
“The AU has vision 2063, which spells out the Africa politically that we want so we are just pushing that agenda alongside the constitutions of our countries.
This is a political framework of Africa itself.
We are not anybody’s enemy, we are hoping on our governments and supporting them.
the goal of the movement is also geared towards ensuring that African can speak their minds against any form of injustice, inhumanity and brutality without getting”
She added that “We are excited at this event where in the past year young African activists raised their voices and brought positive changes to their communities despite the mounting challenges of global health and political crises.
“However, we are inspired by their selfless activism and African Rising for justice, peace and dignity comes together each year to acknowledge and celebrate their accomplishments through Africans rising activism awards,” Goro said.
Ms Coumba Toure, a Coordinating Collective of the movement said the award was not limited to celebrating only the winner but to recognize the efforts of everyone listed in the categories for their efforts.
“What we are doing with these awards is to show that they are there.
we have criterias and our members vote to decide who is the winner.
But the truth is, every activist, every movement, every artist that has been in this contest is who we want to be seen”
Toure said African rising is built on the foundation that wherever there is injustice, they are people, organisations and movements fighting for justice and we want them to be seen, and their voices heard.
“So, whether or not they are chosen, our work is to show who they are, our work is to amplify their voices and what we want is that what they fight for, and those who can see them or hear them through us support them.
“We in Africa need to move past the time where speaking your opinion becomes a threat to your life so that is a big challenge,” Toure said.
Also speaking, Muhammed Lamin, another Coordinating Collective of the movement noted that Africans Rising is a movement of movements which supports and shows solidarity with movements across the continents to achieve their cause.
Lamin lamented the high rate of brutality against activists and journalists on the continent, noting that it will not make them relent in their effort.
He however noted that “through African Rising’s Freedom Campaign over 80,000 journalists and activists have been released from prisons across Africa during the pandemic.
We have lost a lot of our compatriots through bullets, through detentions, through torture and all forms of human brutality put on them by our governments.
Lamin also noted that “In the name of raising their voices against injustice, corruption and the brutal nature of governance on the continents, A lot of our activists are in jail in Nigeria who raised their voices against police brutality during the courageous #EndSARS protest”.
“The brutality will only give us hope that no one can come from another continent to give us that change that we desire, it has to be us,” Lamin said.
Mr Deji Adeyanju, another Co-Chair of the Movement and Nigerian Activist said the movement made solidarity interventions in Guinea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, amongst other countries to ensure restoration of democratic rule.
One of the awardees, who won the Activist of the Year, Wilson Atumeyi, the founder and CEO of Water With Development (WaterWide), a non-profit organisation that solve water sanitation and hygiene-related issues in Nigeria, speaks about the award.
“The Africans Rising award is a great award which shows that our works at water wide is getting the attention it needs and we are getting the success stories and ensures that people have access to water and sanitation facility in rural communities.
The Africans Rising award is for Africans and I believe it ensures and shows that development itself and activism is on its core”.
In the coming year, Africans Rising will be highlighting the work that African women do, through a program called the invisible giants.
50 African women will be celebrated from their efforts in pushing forward the desire for peace, justice and dignity.
African Activists get Peace, Justice, Human Rights Award