A former president of Ghanaian students in Hungary, Gabriel Asante, has been selected as the winner of the 2023 African Hero’s Award.
“Each year we organize African Heroes’ Night at Ohio University to honour and celebrate the award recipient. As the selected hero, we are thus delighted to extend an invitation for you to attend the 2023 African Heroes’ Night both as the keynote speaker and honoured guest for the event. The event will be held on Saturday, March 4th, 2023, at Walter Rotunda Hall from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m,” the official letter from Ohio University to Mr. Gabriel Asante said.
This is in recognition of his research in education and youth empowerment as well as the leadership role he played during the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine war, where many Africans fled Ukraine to Hungary for safety.
African Hero’s Award
The African Hero’s Award was created to mark and celebrate the release of the former and the late President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, from prison. As such, President Mandela became the first award recipient in 1991.
Since then, the African Community at Ohio University has been nominating, voting, and giving the award every spring semester to an African or Africanist who is contributing to the development and advancement of the African continent and people of African descent on the continent or in the diaspora.
Previous winners of this award included Her Excellency Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao, former Permanent Representative of the African Union Mission to the USA and Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of African Diaspora Development Initiative; Dr. Patrick Loch Otieno Lumumba, former Director of Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission and current Director of The Kenya School of Law; Anas Aremeyaw Anas, Ghanaian undercover investigative journalist and Dr. Ibrahim Soce Faal, Regional Emergencies Director of the Health Emergencies Program of the World Health Organization.
Others include Physician Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, the founder of National Cardiothoracic Center and the Ghana Heart Foundation; Survivor Activist Evelyn Chumbow, former member of the United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking; and Dr. Steve Howard, former Director of the African Studies Program and current Graduate Director of the School of Media Arts and Studies of Ohio University.
The letter signed by the President of the African Students’ Union in Ohio University, Shamsuddeen Magaji Bello, said Mr. Gabriel Asante’s biography reveals a persistent passion and a remarkable devotion to Global and Pan-African issues.
“Your hard work, advocacy initiatives, and passion in fighting for cost-elimination in upper secondary level in Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as your contribution to the achievement of Goal 4 of Agenda 2030 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations, speaks volumes of your Pan-Africanism”, the letter stated.
It further said “the key and outstanding leadership role he played at the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine war as the Chairperson of the student body receiving Ghanaians (and later all Africans) fleeing war-zone Ukraine to Hungary is a testament to your unwavering devotion, commitment, and firm belief in African integration. Many of the 1,400 students or more you offered humanitarian support to, mainly from Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, South Africa, and Kenya, have expressed your humility and consideration.”
This year’s event is centred around the theme of unity among the sons and daughters of Africa across the globe.