Africa Freedom Prize
The FNF Africa Freedom Prize - “Then, now and beyond”

Freedom in Africa
Freedom African tourist traveler man with backpack on view of mountain background © Shutterstock

Freedom of speech and the critical responsibilities that it comes with,” Gareth Cliff.  “A new generation with new and different ideas taking action for new ideals,” Hakainde Hichilema. “Re-writing the African story,” Mmusi Maimane. “Breaking free from the shackles of oppression,” Bobi Wine. “Raising the bar for men,” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

To many, these words can come out as being too direct, candid or even insensitive. However, the one thing that all the past recipients of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom’s Africa Freedom Prize have in common is that they make a real stand for liberal values and tirelessly defend democracy across the African continent. They do this, because they know and believe that the issues they campaign for need them to do so. And so, they have decided to stand up and act!

The Africa Freedom Prize was introduced in 2016 and it honours outstanding personalities who provide decisive impulses for the development of liberal civil society in African countries. Today, well known South African media personality Redi Tlhabi hosts the Africa Freedom Prize — “Then, Now and Beyond” feature that is looking back at the past recipients of the award. More importantly, we reflect on where the continent is today, assess what has improved and we also look at the challenges that still remain.

Africa Freedom Prize
© Friedrich Naumann Stiftung

The award has been issued to a recipient every year since 2016, except for 2021. This is because the Foundation was reviewing the direction of the Africa Freedom Prize in order for it to be more in line with who the future engineers of change may be in Africa's journey to Freedom and prosperity.

The cause of defending democracy and freedom is more pertinent than ever, as seen with the many social challenges that follow COVID-19. It is the individuals of the calibre of the Africa Freedom Prize recipients who give us much optimism for the future of freedom and prosperity in Africa.

Which is why we are, as ever, so optimistic about the continent’s future. And convinced of the value that the FNF Africa Freedom Prize provides in recognising those who speak out in support of liberal policy and politics in the form of human rights, the rule of law, democracy, innovation, digitalisation and free trade.

The Foundation looks ahead eagerly with great prospect of the future recipients of the Africa Freedom Prize. Watch this space.