Speak Up Africa rewards its partners’ leadership on its 10th anniversary

Press Release • 28 October 2021

Senegalese advocacy tank celebrates remarkable individuals to mark 10 years of creating impact on the African continent 

Today, leading figures in sustainable development have been recognized for outstanding initiatives to improve public health across Africa. 

Recipients of the 2021 Leadership Award, including M. Serigne Mbaye Thiam, Minister of Water and Sanitation of Senegal, Professor Samba Sow, Director of the Centre of Vaccine Development in Mali and Sarah Diouf, Founder and Creative Director of Senegalese Fashion label Tongoro, are commended for achievements including improving access to sanitation and championing African-led research and development and prevention during COVID-19.

Initiated by the Senegalese non-profit advocacy tank Speak Up Africa, the 2021 Leadership Award honors those who have raised awareness of the continent’s most pressing public health issues, from immunization to malaria, neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and gender equality.

“Improving sanitation in Africa is one of our continent’s greatest challenges. It is a wonderful honor to receive Speak Up Africa’s Leadership Award this year, and I look forward to continuing to work with all the key stakeholders in the sector. Together, we can achieve access to sanitation for all by 2030.” 

Serigne Mbaye Thiam, Minister of Water and Sanitation Senegal 

Winners of this year’s award also include Dr. Dr Odry Fifonsi Agbessi AGro, President of Via Me in Bénin and Burkinabe journalist Harouna Drabo.

“Whether it has been battling COVID-19, or championing for greater gender equality, it has been a pleasure to collaborate with Speak Up Africa and use my platform for good. Fashion has the power to bring people together, and I am grateful to have been recognized by Speak Up Africa for my contribution this year.”

 Sarah Diouf, Founder and Creative Director of Senegalese fashion label Tongoro

The 2021 Leadership Award also coincides with Speak Up Africa’s 10th anniversary, celebrating a decade of driving change and improving lives on the continent. The past 10 years has seen this female-led organisation work to create and implement effective, sustainable solutions to the most recurrent problems facing Africa.

“For 10 years, Speak Up Africa has been working with incredible individuals and organisations across the continent on policy change, movement building and community engagement. It’s a great joy for me to recognize these exceptional people with our 2021 Leadership Award.” 

Yacine Djibo, Executive Director of Speak Up Africa

From launching the now Pan-African Zero Malaria Starts with Me movement in 2014, to spearheading the No to NTDs movement and mobilizing over 600 people including parliamentarians and community leaders.

“Speak Up Africa have made a demonstrable impact on sustainable development across the continent.”

Khalilou Fadiga, Itinerant Ambassador to the Republic of Senegal and Former International player of the national Team

For 10 years Speak Up Africa has been working to reform public health to improve the lives of millions across Africa, whilst amplifying African voices, leading social action, bolstering inclusive, gender sensitive policies and improving governance at both national, regional and global levels.

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