By Temitope Ponle/Taiye Elebiyo-Edeni
The 2018 ECOWAS Prize of Excellence has been posthumously awarded to a former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan and Dr Ameyo Adadevoh for their contributions to region’s well-being.
The prize was presented to representatives of their families at the 55 Summit of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government on Saturday in Abuja.
The award was also presented to Madam Germaine Acogny, a Senegalese dancer and choreographer responsible for developing African Dance and the creation of several dance schools in France and Senegal.
The wife of the former UN secretary-general, Nane Annan, the son of Adadevoh, Bankole Cardoso and Acogny received the awards and cash prizes of 20,000, $10,000 and $15,000 each.
Annan, who died on Aug. 18, 2018 was a Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the UN from Jan. 1997 to Dec. 2006.
He and the UN were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize and was also the founder and chairman of the Kofi Annan Foundation.
Annan joined the UN in 1962, working for the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Geneva office.
He went on to work in several capacities at the UN Headquarters including serving as the Under-Secretary-General for peacekeeping between March 1992 and Dec. 1996.
He was appointed the Secretary-General on Dec. 13, 1996 by the Security Council, and later confirmed by the General Assembly, making him the first office holder to be elected from the UN staff itself.
He was re-elected for a second term in 2001, and was succeeded as Secretary-General by Ban Ki-moon on Jan. 1, 2007.
Also, Adadevoh who was confirmed to test positive for Ebola virus disease on Aug. 4, 2014, and was being treated, died on Aug. 19, 2014.
She is renowned for her contributions towards curbing the spread of Ebola virus in Nigeria by placing the patient zero, Patrick Sawyer, in quarantine despite pressures from the Liberian government.
The wife of Annan, who gave an appreciation speech on behalf of the recipients, expressed gratitude to ECOWAS for the award.
“Thank you for this generous recognition of the immense contribution to the objectives of ECOWAS by my husband and dear friend.
“I would also like to thank ECOWAS on behalf of the two other laureates, two outstanding women of West Africa, the late Dr Ameyo Adadevoh her selfless sacrifice to curb the spread of Ebola in Nigeria.
“And Madam Germaine Acogny for the quality and richness of your artistic production,” she said.
She also said the Kofi Annan Foundation was working with ECOWAS and other partners in West Africa to strengthen democracy and elections, resolve conflicts, support reconciliation and improve food security.