Award is for all Rwandans – laureate winner

This year’s co-laureate winner of the ‘Africa Prize for Leadership for the Sustainable End of Hunger’, Janet Nkubana, has said that she is very honoured to have received such an award even though the accolade goes to all Rwandans.
Janet Nkubana (2nd L) and Faiza Jama Muhamed (2nd R) pose with their shared 2008 Laureate prizes. (Courtesy Photo).
Janet Nkubana (2nd L) and Faiza Jama Muhamed (2nd R) pose with their shared 2008 Laureate prizes. (Courtesy Photo).

This year’s co-laureate winner of the ‘Africa Prize for Leadership for the Sustainable End of Hunger’, Janet Nkubana, has said that she is very honoured to have received such an award even though the accolade goes to all Rwandans.

“It is for all Rwandans because I consider this as a world wide branding for our country,” Nkubana said in an exclusive interview.

On October 18, Nkubana and  Faiza Jama Mohamed (Somalia) were named co-laureates of the 2008 Africa Prize for Leadership for the Sustainable End of Hunger, at a celebratory gala in New York City. These two civil society leaders were chosen as this year’s laureates because of their extraordinary contribution to the empowerment of women in Africa.

According to Nkubana, she did not voluntarily enter any competition in order to win this award. Rather among seventeen nominees a panel of judges elected her as co-winner.

“I was overwhelmed and humbled by the reception I got when I returned from New-York with the prize. However, people are still asking me how I got into the competition and the kind of criteria followed,” Nkubana revealed.

“It was an open nomination. This award is through nomination from ordinary people, who appreciate other people’s initiatives and present the nominee to the jury of Hunger Project,” she clarified.

According to Nkubana, the Hunger Project is a global, non profit, strategic organisation committed to the sustainable end of hunger.

It is supported by strong corporates from the United States of America (USA), Germany, Australia, United Kingdom (UK), Netherlands, New Zealand, Switzerland, Sweden, Japan and Canada.

Among other objectives, is the Africa Prize that acknowledges and honours a distinguished man or woman who has exhibited exceptional leadership in bringing about the sustainable end of hunger on national, regional or continental wide.

According to the Hunger Project website, this year, 17 women were nominated with 5 of them being finalists, among them Rwanda woman entrepreneur Janet Nkubana of Gahaya made it.

After the jury’s deliberations, our very own Janet Nkubana and Faiza Jama Muhamed from Somalia were awarded the Africa Prize for Leadership and Sustainable End of Hunger in a dinner gala that hosted 850 international guests at the Hilton Hotel New-York, where both co-Laureates received a sculpture designed by a famous artist Takenobu Ingalashi and cash a prize of $ 100,000.

“This award is a collective effort of so many people especially the women weavers, policy makers that enabled women to participate in mainstream business and the entire team of Gahaya Links, Fair Winds, Macy’s and the customers in the USA,” Nkubana paid tribute to those who made this achievement possible.

She joins previous Laureates who include Liberia’s President Ellen Johnston Serlif, former President’s for South-Africa and Mozambique respectively, Nelson Mandela and Joaquim Chissano among many more.

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