CAPPA hails Nnimmo Bassey for receiving 2024 Wallenberg Medal

CORPORATE Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) has hailed Nnimmo Bassey, the Executive Director of the Health of Mother Earth Foundation, for receiving the 2024 Wallenberg Medal.

Bassey is the first Nigerian and fifth African honoured with the medal. 

The Executive Director of CAPPA, Akinbode Oluwafemi, expressed delight, noting that Bassey had been an invaluable advocate for environmental justice.

“This award is yet another proof of Dr. Nnimmo Bassey’s phenomenal impact and global excellence. CAPPA, together with a long list of environmental advocates in Nigeria, Africa, and around the world, is excited to celebrate this recognition.

“We doubly testify of Dr. Bassey’s pristine work and relentless pursuit of environmental justice and accountability, even in the face of formidable challenges”, he stated.

Bassey is an architect, poet, writer, and human rights advocate who works to address root cause of issues driving climate migration, environmental and social impacts of extractive production, and hunger in the Niger Delta.

A multiple award winner and the director of an ecological think-tank, he is also a member of the steering committee of Oilwatch International, a network resisting the expansion of fossil fuel extraction in the Global South.

He chaired Friends of the Earth International (2008-2012), was a co-recipient of the 2010 Right Livelihood Award, also known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize,” and received the Rafto Human Rights Prize in 2012. In 2019, he received honorary doctorate degrees from the University of York (UK) and York University (Canada) in 2023.



    He has written several books, including To Cook a Continent: Destructive Extraction, and The Climate Crisis in Africa and Oil Politics: Echoes of Ecological War. His poetry collections include We Thought It Was Oil But It Was Blood (1998), I Will Not Dance to Your Beat (2010), and I See the Invisible (2024).

    Other Africans to have clinched the Wallenberg Medal are Helen Suzman and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, from South Africa, Paul Rusesabagina from Rwanda and Congolese Denis Mukwege.

    The Wallenberg Medal is awarded to outstanding humanitarians whose activities on behalf of the defenceless and oppressed exemplify the courageous devotion and sacrifice of Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who saved tens of thousands of Jews in Budapest during the final months of World War II.

    Bassey will receive the Wallenberg Medal and deliver the Wallenberg Lecture on September 10 in Ann Arbor City, Michigan, during the Wallenberg Medal and Lecture ceremony.

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