Five Africans have been named recipients of the Franco-German Prize for Human Rights and the Rule of Law, presented jointly on Wednesday by the two European nations.
They are among 15 human rights leaders honored by French minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and German foreign minister Heiko Maas.
“Through them, our two countries honor all human rights advocates whose work is all too often ignored or obstructed, and express their appreciation and gratitude to all those who work every day to ensure that this declaration does not remain an empty slogan,” the ministers said in a statement.
This year’s group includes:
- Vuyiseka Dubula-Majola of South Africa. She is the director of Stellenbosch University’s Africa Centre for HIV/AIDS Management and a longtime advocate on health and gender issues.
- Aminata Traoré of Côte d’Ivoire. She is a widely respected Malian politician and writer, and a leading intellectual on African self-determination.
- Mohamed Lotfy of Egypt. He is the founder and executive director of the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF) and has worked as an Amnesty International researcher.
- Alfredo Okenve of Equitorial Guinea. The longtime human rights defender and anti-corruption activist is currently recovering from serious injuries after an October 27 attack near Bata.
- Mekfoula Mint Brahim of Mauritania. She is a scientist and advocate who advances the cause of women and condemns religious extremism.
Since 2016, the prize is awarded each year to people who have made an “exceptional contribution to the protection and promotion of human rights and the rule of law in their country and at the international level.”
For a complete list of this year’s Franco-German Prize recipients, see this link.