side-area-logo

In 2019, Africans Rising started the Africans Rising Activist of the Year award to recognize African grassroots activists working for justice, peace and dignity for African people. The award initiative has received such popular support that it has continued to expand. In 2020, the Africans Rising Activism Awards recognized both individual and collective activism, and now, in its third year, the Activism Awards will also be a platform for showcasing the creative talents of African artists.

The Africans Rising Activism Awards serve the purpose of profiling and advancing African activists and movements and highlighting their engagement of activism as a means of positive change in African communities. Through the example of award nominees and recipients, this award initiative showcases activism as a worthy cause in African society and aims to inspire similar actions among other civil society actors on the continent and in the diaspora. 

The Africans Rising Activism Awards initiative supports and connects activists and movements in a global network of Africans engaging in non-violent actions to promote justice, peace, and dignity for all Africans everywhere.

Past winners

In the first edition of this Africans Rising award initiative, Jean-Marie Kalonji, an activist from the Democratic Republic of Congo was voted the 2019 Africans Rising Activist of the Year.

In 2020, out of a collective of 20 nominees in two categories, Asha Jaffar Harun, an activist and journalist in Kenya, was voted the Activist of the Year, and Tournons La Page, an international pro-democracy movement, was voted  Movement of the Year.

The awards were presented at the West Africa Good Governance Summit in Benin.

Nomination

Nomination for the awards is done by members of the general public through the Africans Rising website ( www.africansrising.org ). After nomination, nominees will be vetted by an appointed panel of judges and a select few candidates will be shortlisted as final nominees. For each category (Activist of the Year, Movement of the Year and Artistic Activist of the Year), two final nominees will be chosen to represent North Africa, East Africa, Central Africa, West Africa, Southern Africa, and the diaspora, for a total of 36 nominees.

Final nominees will be notified by email or WhatsApp. Final nominees will be asked to submit a photo, biography and video (optional) to showcase their work. This content will be placed on the Africans Rising website so that our members can learn more about the nominees and their activism as they decide who to vote for as their top choice during a final voting round.

Final Vote

After final nominees are announced, there will be a final 10-day voting period in which members of the public will be able to vote online for the candidates they think should receive an Africans Rising Activism Award. Voting will be done virtually through the Africans Rising website (www.africansrising.org) and each voter can cast one vote for their top choice in each category. 

The winners will be determined by the number of votes they receive. The nominee with the highest number of votes being the first-place winner and will receive the annual title (2021 Activist of the Year, 2021 Movement of the Year or 2021 Artistic Activist of the Year). The nominees receiving the second and third highest number of votes will be named first runner-up and second runner-up, respectively, for their category. All top three scorers for each category will be invited to attend a virtual awards ceremony.

AWARDS CEREMONY

Vote results will be revealed and award recipients will be announced during a virtual awards ceremony. The three nominees who receive the highest vote totals for each category will be invited to the Activism Awards virtual awards ceremony. This will be an opportunity for them to receive their award and showcase their activism and/or through the global Africans Rising platform. First Place Winners, First Runners-Up, and Second Runners-Up will be announced during the ceremony. 

Read the Profiles

Cast your vote

You can now cast your vote for the African changemakers you believe should be awarded as Activist of the Year, Movement of the Year and Artistic Activist of the Year.

Vote Now!

Criteria of Nomination

ACTIVIST OF THE YEAR

The Africans Rising Activist of the Year award is an annual award to recognize an individual (activist) for their social justice work to bring positive change to the lives of Africans on the continent and/or in the diaspora. 

To qualify as a nominee for the Africans Rising Activist of the Year Award. A nominee must meet the following criteria:

  1. The nominee must be African
  2. The nominee must be a member of Africans Rising*
  3. The nominee must be 35 years or younger
  4. The nominee’s activism must demonstrate their on issues of social justice
  5. The nominee’s work must be non-violent
  6. The nominee must be able to provide evidence of their social justice work for a minimum of two years

MOVEMENT OF THE YEAR

The Africans Rising Movement of the Year award is an annual award to recognize a movement, collective or organization for their social justice work to bring positive change to the lives of Africans on the continent and/or in the diaspora. 

To qualify as a nominee for the Africans Rising Movement of the Year Award. A nominee must meet the following criteria:

  1. The organization must be founded and led by Africans or African descendants 
  2. The organization  must be a member of Africans Rising*
  3. The organization must be involved in grassroots activities
  4. The organization’s accomplishments must demonstrate its work on issues of social justice
  5. The organization’s work must be non-violent
  6. The organization must be able to provide evidence of their social justice work for a minimum of two years

ARTISTIC ACTIVIST OF THE YEAR

This Africans Rising Artistic Activist of the Year award is a new award that  recognizes artists on the continent and/or in the diaspora who use their art to promote positive social change to the lives of Africans.

To qualify as a nominee for the Africans Artistic Activist of the Year Award. A nominee must meet the following criteria:

  1. The nominee must be African 
  2. If the work is expressed in a language other than English or French, the nominee must provide a translation of the work in English or French
  3. The nominee must be a member of Africans Rising*
  4. The nominee must be between the ages of 18 – 35 years or younger
  5. The nominee’s creative work must be related to issues of social justice
  6. The nominee’s work must promote non-violent activism
  7. The nominee must be able to provide evidence of their social justice work for a minimum of two years

Prize

The winners of the 2021 Africans Rising Activist of the Year Award will be presented with the following awards:

  1. $1000 Prize Money (Winner), $500 (First Runner-Up), $300 (Second Runner-Up)
  2. Award Plaques
  3. Participation in Africans Rising programmes
  4. Africans Rising Souvenirs

The winners of the 2021 Africans Rising Movement of the Year Award will be presented with:

  1. $1000 Prize Money (Winner), $500 (First Runner-Up), $300 (Second Runner-Up)
  2. Award Plaques
  3. An exclusive training organized by Africans Rising on movement building, leadership, or campaigns for social change
  4. A member representative will be invited to attend an Africans Rising training or convening 
  5. Africans Rising Souvenirs

The winners of the 2021 Africans Rising Artistic Activist of the Year Award will be presented with:

  1. $1000 Prize Money (Winner), $500 (First Runner-Up), $300 (Second Runner-Up)
  2. Award Plaques
  3. Participation in Africans Rising programmes
  4. Africans Rising Souvenirs
All nominees and winners of the Activism Awards will have the opportunity to volunteer with Africans Rising to organize mobilizations around issues relevant to your work and our membership.