At the Summit of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government held on Sunday 12 December 2021 in Abuja, Nigeria, four ECOWAS citizens were recognized in various fields as recipients of the ECOWAS Excellence Award.
The Excellence Award is governed by Decision A/DEC.2/06/17 laying down the criteria and procedures for awarding the ECOWAS Prize of Excellence, adopted by the 51st Summit of the Heads of State and Government held in June 2017. It seeks to recognize excellence and honour individuals or legal entities who, through their activities, initiatives, creativity and services, have immensely contributed to the promotion of regional integration, peace and socio-economic development in the ECOWAS region.
This Prize comprises three categories: i) Category 1: Award for Science and Technology, Arts and Literature with 3 sub-categories which are Science and Technology, Arts and Literature; ii) Category 2: Honorary Award for Eminent Persons; iii) Category 3: Award for deserving Community citizens.
For this year’s edition, the Jury met from 18th to 21st May 2021 to review the nominations submitted by Member States, and after deliberation, they awarded the Prize of Excellence to the following winners:
- Category 1: Award for Science and Technology, Arts and Literature
- Science and Technology: Professor Basile Kounouhewa of Benin, for the manufacturing of a disinfecting booth,
- Arts (cinema) : Mrs Loukou Akissi Delphine of Cote d’Ivoire, popularly known as Akissi Delta, director of a television production, for the quality and richness of her productions, which are broadcast and recognised in several ECOWAS countries,
- Literature (theatre): Mrs Werewere Liking-Gnepo of Cote d’Ivoire, self-taught and playwright, for the quality and richness of her productions recognised in several ECOWAS countries;
- Category 3: Award for deserving Community citizens: Mrs Ley-mah Gbowee of Liberia for her contribution to peace in her country during the 2003 civil war. She is also co-recipient of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize with H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of Liberia and Mrs Tawakkoul Karman
The ECOWAS Prize for Excellence was presented by His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana, and Chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government.
In the evening of Sunday 12 December, the winners were hosted to a dinner by the President of the ECOWAS Commission. It afforded an opportunity for H.E. Jean Claude Kassi Brou, to congratulate the proud awardees, and to urge them to continue to enlighten the youth through their work.
It should be recalled that the Excellence Award is announced every year and nominations are received from Member States, with only one nomination per category or sub-category.