Nigerian education and children’s rights activist, Philip Obaji has received the 2015 Future Awards Africa Prize for Young Person of the Year, the biggest of eleven awards presented to young Africans for inspiring work in the continent in the last eighteen months.
Fellow countryman and bank analyst, Adesoji Solanke, South African TV host, Trevor Noah, Kenyan activist Teresa Mbagaya and her compatriot, Barclay Okari, a serial entrepreneur, were the other Africans shortlisted for the prestigious award held in Nigeria’s commercial city of Lagos on Sunday.
Obaji, a champion of the Global Partnership for Education champion and a contributor to The Daily Beast, is known for his activism for rights to education for children, especially in North-east Nigeria, where the Islamist group, Boko Haram, has targeted schools, education campaigners, teachers and students. He received the Future Awards Africa Prize in Education last year for his work in advocating for basic education for vulnerable children in northeast Nigeria through 1 GAME, an education campaigning initiative he founded in 2010.
The Future Awards Africa, an initiative of The Future Project, celebrates young people between the ages of 18 and 31, who have made outstanding achievement in the year under consideration. Forbes has described the awards as “Most important awards for outstanding young Nigerians”, while the World Bank calls it “The Nobel Prize for young Africans”.
Photo: The Future Awards Africa Prize for Young Person of the Year is presented to Philip Obaji by Nasir El Rufai, Governor of Nigeria’s northwestern Kaduna state.