Addis Ababa — Dr. Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has emerged the Daily Trust African of the Year 2013.
Chairman of the award committee and former President of Tanzania, Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim, announced this yesterday at the UNECA Conference Centre, Addis Ababa, at a plenary of the ongoing African Media Leaders Forum (AMLF).
He said Dr. Kaberuka was chosen for the award in recognition of his innovative idea which led to the establishment of "Africa 50 Fund" to speed up the financing of infrastructure in Africa.
Dr. Salim, who was Secretary General of the Organisation of African Unity (now African Union), said Dr. Kaberuka has done Africa proud by his idea of a domestically-financed development, more so as the AU marks its 50th anniversary this year.
He said Africans must take ownership of the continent's infrastructure development through an economic strategy that places the funding equity in the hands of Africans.
"Such an equity ownership", he stressed, "will send a strong signal to developers and financiers about the commitment of African countries to address the continent's infrastructure challenge".
The award plaque and the prize sum of US$50,000 donated by UBA Plc will be presented at a ceremony slated for January 15 in Abuja.
Dr. Kaberuka, a Rwandan economist aged 62, who is currently serving his second and final five-year term as President of the AfDB, is the sixth winner of the Daily Trust African of the Year award.
Past winners of the award are Dr. Denis Mukwege of the Democratic Republic of Congo for 2008; the late pan-Africanist Dr. Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem of Nigeria for 2009 and Mr. Danny Jordaan of South Africa for 2010.
The other winners are former Chief Justice of Niger, Mrs Fatimata Salifou Bazeye for 2011 and the former South African President, Mr. Thabo Mbeki who won last year.
The award is open to all Africans based in the continent or in the Diaspora, and it is given in recognition of exemplary contribution to African development in any sphere of human endeavour.
Winners are selected through a transparent process from a pool of candidates who have been validly nominated at the award site www.award.dailytrust.com
Aside Dr. Salim, members of the award committee are former member of ECOWAS Parliament and current Cabinet Minister in Senegal, Professor Abdoulaye Bathily and the Chairman/CEO of Media Trust Limited (publisher of Daily Trust newspaper) Malam Kabiru Yusuf.
Other members are the Director of Development Research Institute, Johannesburg, Professor Tandeka Nkiwane, former Executive Secretary of the Kenyan Human Rights Commission, Dr. Muthoni Wanyeki and Ugandan political scientist and author, Professor Okello Oculi.