I am very excited to announce that the winner of the 2013 ONE Africa Award is Agricultural Non-State Actors Forum (ANSAF) of Tanzania.
This afternoon I was joined by ONE co-founder Bono, CEO Michael Elliott and Board Chairman Tom Freston to present the prize to Audax Rukonge, Executive Secretary of ANSAF. The ceremony was part of the African Media Leaders Forum which is being held in Addis Ababa.
The ONE Award is an incredible opportunity for us at ONE to shine a spotlight on some the most innovative Africa-led, Africa-driven efforts and initiatives by civil society organisations that are working hard to build a better future for African citizens. These organisations often tie public service delivery efforts to robust advocacy tactics so that systemic change can be achieved.
Before the award was presented, our Board Chairman Tom read out a message from the benefactor of the prize, Howard Buffett. He said,
“I think it is especially fitting that this is the first time this award is going to a winner in the agricultural sector and that the winner is a coalition of smallholder farmers. I have long advocated that farming policy will be most effective when it is shaped by farmers themselves; that is true anywhere you go in the world.
My hope is that by winning the ONE Award, ANSAF’s voice will only get stronger, and that you will inspire groups like yours across the continent to speak up on behalf of the millions of smallholder farmers who are a critical part of meeting Africa’s food security needs.”
Audax will be writing a guest blog sharing his reaction to winning the prize, and what it means for the future of the organisation very soon. Accepting the prize today he said,
“This award is for Tanzanian and African smallholder farmers who work hard to ensure Africa has enough food to feed the nations.”
Bono also addressed the media leaders and journalists in the audience, describing the information revolution taking place in Ethiopia and around the world, and how it is empowering civil society organisations to hold governments to account. He said,
“The quality of governance depends on the quality of civil society, and the quality of civil society depends on the quality, the accuracy, and the relevance of information.
Transparency plus insight equals transformation. Capital flight is always at night, in the dark. Phantom companies, with more wealth than some governments, can’t stand the daylight that would unmask who owns them. Corporate and government corruption is killing more kids than any disease. But there is a vaccine, and it is information. It’s transparency.”
We’re particularly proud to recognise and reward ANSAF and its work with smallholder farmers as we look forward to the promise of the African Union’s Year of Agriculture and Food Security in 2014. ANSAF will no doubt be a strong, reliable partner for ONE as we look for enhanced policy reforms and financial commitments in the coming year from African governments.
Find our more about ANSAF and watch a video about their work, and and look out for a guest blog from Audax coming soon.