Five students on the Master of Laws in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa programme received prizes and these were:
Mr Josua Loots (South Africa) received the Nelson Mandela Prize for the best overall academic performance
Ms Romola Adeola (Nigeria) received the Kéba M’baye Prize for the best dissertation
Mr Romola Adeola (Nigeria) and Ms Satang Nabaneh (Gambia) were jointly awarded the Victor Dankwa Prize for the best performance in the module: Human Rights in Africa
Mr Samuel Bizen Abraha (Eritrea) received the Ubuntu Prize for the student who best embodied the spirit of ubuntu (compassion for others on the course)
The Vera Chirwa Award that is awarded to a former student of the Masters of Laws in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa in recognition for his or her contribution to human rights promotion and protection was for the first time jointly awarded to two alumni. This year the recipients were Judge Monica Mbaru (Kenya) and Prof Lilian Chenwi (Cameroon). Judge Mbaru was recognised for her contribution to advancing the rights of sexual minorities and persons with disabilities. Prof Chenwi received the award in recognition of her contribution to socio-economic rights through research and litigation.
Ms Jane Connors, the head of the Special Procedures Branch at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights was the key note speaker at the graduation ceremony. In her inspirational speech Ms Connors provided an overview of the United Nations’ efforts to protect and promote human rights.
The programme is funded by the European Commission, the Dutch government, the German Academic Exchange Services (DAAD), the Open Society Initiative in Southern Africa (OSISA) and the Open Society Foundation.