It was a festival of praises and celebration in Accra with indigenous musicians entertaining the audience with the Tora and Bamaya dance of the Dagbon people on the 20th of December 2019 in Accra Ghana. It was in solidarity with the recipients of the maiden Africa Sustainable Development Awards among whom is the Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Program in the Niger Delta, Prof. Charles Quaker Dokubo.
The occasion was chaired by Naa Dr Yakubu Mahama Chief of Zangbalum Traditional Area who represented his Majesty Ya Naa Abukari 11 The Supreme Overlord of Dagbon State. In his remarks, the Chairman congratulated the awardees and urged them to continue to be worthy ambassadors of the continent. “I have listened attentive to what the organisers have read out in the citations of each and every one of you that made them select you for this award. I must say that I am impressed. I want to urge you not to rest on your oars. Let the recognition today urge you to do more” He stated.
In his own remarks, Prof Steve Azaiki, Member of Nigerian House of Representatives praised the organisers for such a laudable initiative and congratulated the awardees especially Prof Dokubo whom he described as an exemplary intellectual and a brother. According to the lawmaker, the appointment of Prof Dokuba saw to the consolidation of the peace process in the erstwhile volatile Niger Delta region which has led to uninterrupted oil production for more since he came into office. He described the honour of Africa Peace Maker given to the Presidential aide as well deserved and urged him to continue to uphold the policies of Buhari administration in the Niger Delta.
Prof Raymond Atuguba from the University of Ghana who also spoke at the event bemoaned how an increase in bad governance is contributing to despondency and hopelessness among you. He called for a multifaceted and collaborative approach where Africans can work together to search for sustainable solutions to the teeming problems of the continent.
The Chairman of the organising committee and the Executive Director of Northern Ghana Aid, Mr Mustapha Sanah, stated that the major inspiration for the Africa Sustainable Development Award is to celebrate islands of sustainability in the African continent. He regretted the fact that for a long time now, Africa has been continuously labelled as a continent of poverty, hunger, conflict and deprivation. He affirmed that although these challenges do exist, African stories have been continuously by outsiders who lack the contextual depth to present an Africa that has challenges but has managed to make progress here and there.
Mr Sanah observed that in the midst of these distractions, there are people – doers, achievers who have made outstanding contributions in several areas of sustainable development who ought to be celebrated. For him, the Africa Sustainable Development Award is an effort to tell the African story bay African. To discover change agents and encourage them to know that they are not alone in the mission to build a coalition to turn Africa to a continent of peace and prosperity.
Other recipients of the award include the former head of Ghana’s Electoral Commission Dr Afari Djan who received recognition for his contributions in the management of elections and Prof Jonathan Dakubu who received recognition for his contribution in the area of Innovative Medical Excellence. Atuguba was recognized for being a role model in academia for young people in Africa. The ceremony attracted many politicians, leaders of thought, civil society groups and the media. Hon Eta Mbora of Federal House of Representatives was also present at the event. The Nigerian Ambassador to Ghana was represented by Mr Daniel Ebijor Tonibor who is a Counsellor at the embassy