Fashola, Branson, Others Receive International Award

Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State
Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State

Outgoing governor of Lagos state, Raji Fashola and seven other African dignitaries have been honoured by the International Crisis Group, ICG, for their strides in managing challenging urban environments.

Other personalities who would be rewarded at the event include Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, recognized for “his visionary reshaping of private sector initiatives to promote peace, human rights and sustainable development” and former UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Sadako Ogata, who was selected for her “exemplary efforts to prevent conflict and mass atrocities, alleviate suffering during the Balkan crisis, and protect refugees worldwide.”

Equally to be honoured are the former Italian foreign minister, Emma Bonino, recognised for her role in reducing tension and promoting peace in many nations around the world, a former Australian foreign minister, Gareth Evans, who was said to have promoted the principle of Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and also headed the International Crisis Group as its first president.

In a media release issued by the Brussels-based think tank on Thursday, the organization said it was giving Fashola the award, instituted as the Stephen J. Solarz Award, “for his commitment to resolving social, economic and security challenges in one of the world’s most challenging urban environments.”



    President Béji Caïd Essebsi and Nahdha Party leader, Rached Ghannouchi, two Tunisian dignitaries were both chosen for their “unwavering dedication to pluralism, inclusion and compromise during Tunisia’s democratic transition.”

    Jean-Marie Guéhenno, the Brussel based organization’s president, said: “Each award goes to a pioneer of peace, to a relentless fighter for the improvement of people’s lives, to someone who has built bridges, believed in change and mobilized others in the name of justice”.

    The 2015 awards will be formally presented at a gala night which is expected to hold in New York on October 26, which incidentally marks the 20th anniversary of the ICG.

    Recipients of the group’s annual awards in the past include Liberian president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, erstwhile US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, Somalian activist, Lula da Silva, former Brazilian president, Luiz Inacio and Sima Samar, a female Afghan human rights advocate.



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