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Calestous Juma Awarded Lifetime Africa Achievement Prize

Calestous Juma, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Visiting Professor at MIT, received a LAAP Prize (Lifetime Africa Achievement Prize) for his leadership in socio-economic development in Africa. The award will be presented to Juma in Nigeria on October 10, 2014, by the Millennium Excellence Foundation.

Juma is among 16 recipients of this year’s esteemed award. The Millennium Excellence Foundation noted that the nominations were “unprecedented as the laureates met the mark of excellence of distinction never seen in the continent in several decades.”  African heads of state, leaders of industry across the continent, academicians, the diplomatic corps and a host of politicians will join in to celebrate this year’s laureates.

The LAAP laureates will also participate in an economic forum to discuss issues rising from food security and sustainability to the scourge of Ebola in Africa. The outcomes of the discussions by the laureates will be communicated to African leaders and the general public.

Every two years, members of the Board of Governors of the Millennium Excellence Foundation, nominate those who deserve recognition of good merit and have displayed leadership within critical areas of socio-economic development in Africa, which they have championed and impacted the lives of Africans for the better.

The 2014 LAAP Laureates are:

  • H.E. President Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, President of the Republic of Nigeria, (Prize for Leadership, National Cohesion and Stability in Africa)
  • HRM, Otumfuo Osei Tutu Ii, Asantehene, Ashanti Monarch and Traditional Ruler in Ghana, (Traditional Leadership and Governance in Africa)
  • Calestous Juma, Professor of the Practice of International Development at Harvard Kennedy School and Dr Martin Luther King, Jr Visiting Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2014-2015)
  • Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank, (Prize for Nation Building and African Leadership) He worked in banking and international trade for over a decade.
  • Jay Naidoo, Chair of the Board of Directors and Chair of the Partnership Council of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) (Prize for Democratic Governance and Development) He is the Patron of ‘Scatterlings of Africa’ a paleontological foundation linking archaeological sites across Africa
  • Tony O. Elumelu, Chairman of Heirs Holdings, a pan-African proprietary investment company, (Prize for Sustainable Development in Africa) He is also the founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, an Africa-based and African-funded not-for-profit organisation (NPO) that is dedicated to the promotion and celebration of excellence in business leadership and entrepreneurship across Africa
  • Folorunsho Alakija, A Nigerian Business woman (Prize For Action for Africa), She is a business tycoon involved in the fashion, oil and printing industries. She is the group managing director of The Rose of Sharon Group which consists of The Rose of Sharon Prints & Promotions Limited and Digital Reality Prints Limited and the executive vice chairman of Famfa Oil Limited
  • Tidjane Thiam, Chief Executive of the London-based international financial services group Prudential plc, (Prize for Action For Africa)
  • Cheick Modibo Diarra, President of the Pathfinder Foundation, (Prize for Scientific Research in Africa) His untiring work is guided by his philosophy that education is the key to development
  • Navanethem "Navi" Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, (Prize for Humanitarianism and Equity) She was the first non-white woman judge of the High Court of South Africa, and she has also served as a judge of the International Criminal Court and President of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
  • Amadou Mahtar Ba, member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Council for the Future of Journalism, (Prize for Media Development In Africa) Ba is co-founder and chairman of All Africa Global Media, an international multi-media content service provider, systems technology developer and the largest distributor of African news and information worldwide
  • Ashish J. Thakkar, Founder and Managing Director of Mara Group, (Prize for Entrepreneurial Excellence in Africa) Ashish J. Thakkar has built a conglomerate of IT, real estate and manufacturing companies with operations in 19 African countries and 21 countries worldwide, employing over 8,000 people through its investments and operations
  • Manilal Premchand Chandaria, Chairman and CEO of the Comcraft Group of Companies, (Prize for Economic Development in Africa) He runs a billion dollar enterprise that has a presence in over 40 countries, he is on the boards of several prominent East African companies
  • Jim Ovia, Founder of Visafone Communications Limited and Chairman of Zenith Bank, (Prize for Economic Development in Africa) Mr. Ovia is the Proprietor of the University of Information and Communication Technology, Agbor, Delta State. He serves as the Pioneer President of Nigeria Internet group (NIG).
  • Didier Drogba, Côte d'Ivoire National Football Team, (Prize – Black Star of Africa) He is best known for his career at Chelsea, for whom he scored more goals than any other foreign player and is currently the club's fourth highest goal scorer of all time
  • Haile Gebrselassie, Ethiopianlong-distancetrack and running athlete, (Prize – Black Star of Africa)He broke 61 Ethiopian national records ranging from 800 metres to the marathon, set 27 world records, and is widely considered one of the greatest distance runners in history.

Some of the past Laureates include Dr. Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General, late President John Atta Mills, Mo Ibrahim, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Wole Soyinka, James Wolfensohn, Ismail Serageldin, Cyril Ramaphosa, President Mwai Kibaki, Gov. Godswill Akpabio and Aliko Dangote.