Nigeria’s Amina Mohammed, Joan Okorodudu win African award

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The new United Nations Deputy Secretary and immediate past Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed, was on Thursday named the New African Woman in Politics and Public Office.

Amina Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary General
Amina Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary General

Mrs. Mohammed was named in the New African Woman magazine’s award ceremony held in Dakar, Senegal on Thursday.

Prior to her new post, Mrs. Mohammed played key roles in both the current Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, and the Millennium Development Goals, MDGs, and how both agenda impacted African women.

Also, honoured at the ceremony was the fearless Gambian human rights activist, Minister of Women Affairs and Overseer – Vice President’s Office, Fatoumatta Jallow-Tambajan, who emerged the New African Woman of Year.

Mrs. Jallow-Tambajan was recognised for being instrumental in galvanising the opposition that eventually beat long-term, now exiled leader Yahya Jammeh.

The awards, now in their second edition, recognise, celebrate women achievers and excellence who have made exceptional impact and brought change in their communities, countries, the Africa or the Diaspora in the past 12 months.

Winners were selected by a special panel of judges from 68 shortlisted candidates across 12 categories. The New African Woman Awards is followed by a Forum under the theme: “Changing The Game”.

During the ceremony, Women in Health, Science and Technology award was presented to Namibia’s Helena Ndume, a pioneering ophthalmologist and cataract surgeon, who has to date, performed over 35,000 sight-restoring surgeries on Namibians, free of charge.

Morocco serial entrepreneur, Salwa Idrissi Akhannouch, went home with the New African woman Award in Business, while Zimbabwean philanthropists and educationist, Tsitsi Masiyiwa, received the New African Woman Award in Education for her work with Higherlife Foundation.

The non-profit organisation runs and offers scholarships to orphaned and vulnerable children to give them a better chance in education. Over 250,000 children have so far benefited from the work of Higherlife Foundation.

The award of the New African Woman on the Rise (The Next Generation), category, which received the most nominations, went to the Kenyan girls rights activist and UN Women youth advisor, Vivian Onano.

The New African Woman in Civil Society was given to Theresa Kachindamoto, who annulled over 300 child marriages in her village in Malawi, a feat that played an important role in forcing the government to ban child marriages in the country all together.

Other winners included Nigeria’s Joan Okorodudu (New African Woman In The Arts & Culture) for her services to raising the profile of African models and fashion; Mali’s Binta Touré Ndoye (New African Woman – in Finance); Amira Yahyaoui of Tunisia (New African Woman in Media) and the former African Union Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, from Uganda, who emerged the New African Woman in Agriculture, for pushing the importance of food security and adding value chain to African goods while she was at the AU.

The New African Woman in Sport went to the Senegal’s Fatma Samoura, the world football body’s Secretary General, a position she was appointed to in 2016. She became the first African woman to hold the post.

The ceremony attracted over 150 high profile, respected decision-making women who came together to discuss and examine key issues pertaining to the status of women across the continent.


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