Two African journalists known for exposing corruption in their respective countries of Kenya and Angola have been named the joint recipients of the 2015 Allard Prize for International Integrity.
The Peter A. Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia presented John Githongo and Rafael Marques de Morais with the Allard Prize at a special ceremony last night.
The $100,000 prize is one of the world’s largest awards recognizing efforts to combat corruption and to promote human rights. As joint recipients, Mr. Githongo and Mr. Marques de Morais were each awarded $50,000 for their brave efforts in protecting human rights and fighting corruption.
“It is a singular honour and a humbling experience to be selected for the Allard Prize,” says Mr. Githongo. “This recognition serves as an encouragement and as an important recognition that there is across the world a partnership between all people who care about human dignity – to fight corruption and theft and their toxic effects.”
In 2004, Mr. Githongo was responsible for exposing a $1 billion corruption scandal within the Kenyan government. His current work is focused on creating an informed citizenry in Kenya and mobilizing its people to speak out against corruption.
“At home I am vilified for fighting corruption, and abroad I am recognized for doing it,” said Mr. Marques de Morais. “It is an exceptional encouragement for me to continue to do my job. It (the prize) will resonate in Angola, as a testament that it merits to fight against corruption in a kleptocracy. This award will further help change perceptions in Angola, where people are forced to engage in everyday corruption as a way of life.
Mr. Marques de Morais is an Angola-based human rights activist and journalist who has dedicated his career to raising public awareness of corruption, conflict diamonds and army brutality in his home country. Despite threats to his life, lawsuits and an unjust prison detainment, Mr. Marques de Morais continues to write extensively on these topics.
Established in October 2012 by Allard School of Law alumnus Mr. Peter A. Allard, Q.C., the Allard Prize is awarded every two years to an individual, movement or organization that has shown exceptional courage and leadership in combating corruption, especially through promoting transparency, accountability and the Rule of Law.
“We are honoured to present the 2015 Allard Prize jointly to John Githongo of Kenya and Rafael Marques de Morais of Angola, in recognition of their extraordinary efforts to combat corruption and protect human rights,” said Mr. Allard. “Their stories, which clearly reflect the values of the Allard Prize, inspire all of us to effect positive change for the benefit of people everywhere.”
The other finalists, Indonesia Corruption Watch, Indonesia’s leading organization focused on fighting corruption, and Sergei Magnitsky, the late lawyer who was responsible for uncovering a large-scale government tax fraud in Russia, were each awarded $10,000 in recognition of their efforts in protecting human rights and fighting corruption.
Source: All Africa