Former Ghana, Botswana presidents attend African Heritage Awards

Former Ghana, Botswana presidents attend African Heritage Awards
Former Ghana, Botswana presidents attend African Heritage Awards

Africa-Press – Botswana. The former presidents of Ghana and Botswana, John Mahama and Seretse Khama, respectively were some of the esteemed guests that attended the second edition of the African Heritage Awards, which held at Mariott Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, last weekend.

The event, which was organised by Heritage Times, featured discussions on the major challenges hampering Africa’s development.

In his speech, Khama who was also the Chairman on the occasion, said that in order to provide opportunities for Africans, it was necessary to have good leadership and political stability on the continent.

He said, “While we will continue to preach peace, stability and good governance on the continent, it is important to note that our circumstances should not deter us from the positive impact one can make. I am very much aware that some of the brilliant people we have in here have not had it easy as well, but they have persevered to make a mark in their undertakings.

“Therefore, let me urge all of you to use your stories to inspire others and ignite positive change. Social media has enabled many of us to be able to reach millions of people worldwide; therefore we have no excuse, but to spread our impactful stories.”

Also speaking as a member of the panel of discussants at the event, Mahama, who was the President of Ghana between 2012 and 2017, stated that for Africa to be reckoned with, its leaders and followers needed to think outside the box, tell its own stories and make good use of social media.He said, “We must believe in ourselves as Africans. There is more money leaving Africa than is coming in.

“We need to free African movement more than we are presently doing. In the European Union, one doesn’t need a visa to enter any of the member countries. In Africa, we should not need to get visas to go anywhere within the continent. We must move two times faster than we are doing presently. We must be self-reliant as a continent.”

Earlier in his welcome address, the convener of the awards, Moses Siasia, noted that Africa needed to invest in the preservation and promotion of its cultural heritage by supporting initiatives that safeguard historical sites, protect endangered languages and revive traditional arts and crafts.

Meanwhile, one of the highlights of the event were the three awards given to people who had contributed to the growth of the continent.

The awards were the African Development Award for Advocacy and Social Justice given to African Rising Movement; African Humanitarian Award for Women Emancipation and Empowerment given to Dr Jayne Onwumere, the Chief Executive Officer of Property World African Network; and African Advancement Award for Exemplary Leadership given to Mahama.

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