The Sunhak Peace Prize award committee announced that the 2019 laureates would be Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank Group and Waris Dirie, world-class supermodel and anti-FGM (female genital mutilation) activist, for their contribution in building Africa. This was revealed at the Cape Town International  Convention Center on the 22nd of November 2018. 

The Sunhak Peace Prize for 2019 is focusing on “Africa’s human rights and human development” as the award theme for humanity’s future.

Akinwumi Adesina, a 53-year old agricultural economist has contributed greatly to the food security in Africa aimed at improving the lives of the millions of people currently living in poverty in Africa. He has been a leader in the agricultural innovation for over 30 years. He has pioneered many major agricultural reforms including expanding the production of rice through technology and implementing policies to help farmers access technology better, increasing the availability of large credit facilities to small-scale farmers, attracting private investors for agriculture and also establishing policies for Africa’s Green-Revolution.

In 2016, he organized one of the largest high-level meetings in Africa’s history “The Africa Fertilizer Summit” which focused on solving Africa’s food issues. He currently serves as the president of the African Development Bank which plays a central role in Africa’s development. As an “economic commander” of Africa, he promotes the “High 5 Strategy” that includes: light up and power Africa, feed Africa, industrialize Africa, integrate Africa and improve the quality of life for the people of Africa. As a result of his work, the lives of millions of people throughout Africa have been improved.

Waris Dirie, a 58-year old super-model and anti-FGM (female genital mutilation) activist was born into a goat-herding nomad family. She was subjected to female circumcision at the age of 5. In 1997, at the peak of her fashion career as a world-class super-model, she shared her experience with the world which shocked and enlightened people about genital mutilation. She became the voice of the voiceless. Waris Dirie is acclaimed for raising awareness throughout the world about the tragic practice which has been practised for thousands of years now. In 2002, she established the “Desert Flower Foundation” and since the then she has travelled the world actively leading anti-FGM campaigns to help uphold the rights of women and girls.

The Chairman of the Sunhak Peace Prize committee, Dr Il Sik Hong, stated that the Sunhak Peace Prize was established based upon the vision of “One Family Under God.” The 2019 Sunhak Peace Prize gives special attention to peace and human development in Africa.”    

“In order for us to build an era of peace and coexistence in the 21st century, we want to encourage continuous development in Africa. Africa is a rising star and its growth will contribute to global progress and development throughout the 21st century,” Dr Hong added.

The Sunhak Peace Prize Award Ceremony will take place in February 2019 in Seoul, Korea. It is to honour individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the peace and the welfare of the future generations. It includes a cash prize totalling one million dollars.

Under the motto “making the world better for future generations,” the Sunhak Peace Prize was entrenched to recognise and appreciate individuals and organizations that have made constant contributions to humanity for the advancement of humanity’s future and to seek models for a new civilization towards peace in the 21st century.


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