Former President Goodluck Jonathan and other prominent African leaders and icons were honoured at the maiden edition of African Heritage Concert and Awards in Rwanda.
The Vice President of the Republic of Liberia, Dr Jewel Howard-Taylor and Dr. Seretse Khama Ian Khama, the former President of Botswana were also among the awardees.
According to the organisers, Heritage Times, the event was strategically packaged to celebrate and honour African greats who have distinguished themselves in their various fields of endeavor.
They are also people that have made sustainable global impact in pacifying the image of Africa.
Speaking after receiving the African Democracy and Peace Icon Award, former Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, appealed to African leaders to become servants of the people, and not turn themselves into the “bosses of the people”.
“When you are called the executive president, our duty is to run our country properly, not to de-humanise human beings and make their lives difficult.
“What you should think is when you leave office, what will the world remember you for?
“Will the world remember you for killing people? Will the world remember you for jailing people, or will the world remember you for destroying their systems?
“What people will remember you for is what should guide our decisions, and I believe if every leader should begin to think is that they will leave office one day.
“And they will be remembered one way or the other, either positively or negatively,” Jonathan said.
The Vice President of the Republic of Liberia, Dr Jewel Howard-Taylor, conferred with African Humanitarian Award, said that honouring the “best and brightest” minds in Africa was crucial for navigating the future of the continent.
Howard-Taylor said this was especially as it concerns leadership.
She reminded African leaders that the dream of achieving a robust and sustainable Africa rests heavily on their shoulders.
Howard-Taylor added that celebrating Africans who have made impacts, would help change the negative narrative about Africa that was being propagated by the Western media.
Dr. Seretse Khama Ian Khama, the former President of Botswana, who bagged the African Philanthropist Award, stressed the need for African leaders to do the right thing and develop the continent.
While commending HT for putting together the event, he noted that the future of Africa remains bright and great in spite of seeming challenges.
On his part, Prof. Patrick Lulllmumba, who picked up the Africa Advancement Award, expressed worried that African continent was in a crisis mode.
Lulllmumba said that if African leaders were not careful, the `’continent will be eaten for launch once again”.
“I am energised by this award. I dedicate this award to Africans of goodwill, from whose eyes; the scales of ignorance have been removed. Growing Africa is an inter-generational struggle,” he added.
While retrospecting on the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda, he advocated unity and peace across Africa, adding that Africa had a prestigious place in the world stage.
He added that Africa lacked inspirational leaders, but expressed hope that the awards and special recognition and was one of the surest ways in which mentors would be created.
Other awardees at the event were: Late John Magufuli, former President of Tanzania – African Icon Award (Posthumous).
Victoria Nalongo Namusisi, Founder and Director of Bright Kids Uganda – African Humanitarian Award; Olumide Akpata, former President of the Nigerian Bar Association – African Legal Icon Award.
Also awarded were Dr. Ifie Sekibo, Founder of Heritage Bank Plc – African Philanthropist Award; Engr Simbi Wabote, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) – Champion of Local Content Development in Africa Award.
Christelle Kwizera, Head Water Access, Rwanda – African Humanitarian Award; Fred Swaniker, Founder African Leadership University – African Humanitarian Award.
Hamzat Lawal, CEO, Connected Development – African Humanitarian Award; and the Triplets Ghetto Kids of Uganda – African Entertainment Award, completed the pack.
Amb. Suleiman Sani, the Nigerian High Commissioner to Rwanda, was also present at the event.
Source: News Agency of Nigeria