AU honours Joyce Banda, other accomplished African women

The African Union/Diaspora African Forum (AU/DAF), in collaboration with the Republic of South Africa, African Union Commission and NEPAD Planning and Coordination Agency on Friday, June 12, 2015, hosted an awards banquet in line with the 25th African Union Summit Theme for 2015: “Year of Women Empowerment and Development Towards Africa’s Agenda 2063.”

JB congratulates Winnie Mandela after receiving her Award

JB congratulates Winnie Mandela after receiving her Award

JB receives her Living Legend Award from South Africa's Minister International Relations... nd Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane

JB receives her Living Legend Award from South Africa’s Minister International Relations… nd Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane

JB and Graca Machel pose for a photograph before a swam of photojournalists

JB and Graca Machel pose for a photograph before a swam of photojournalists

JB was joined by her husband, retired Chief Justice Richard Banda

JB was joined by her husband, retired Chief Justice Richard Banda

The event, which was televised and live-streamed globally, was co-chaired by South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Mashabane and the Ambassador and Dr. Erieka Bennett.

The African Women of Excellence Award Ceremony and Dinner was held during the on-going 25th Ordinary Session of African Union Heads of States and Government at the Michelangelo Hotel in Sandton City, Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa.

According to Dr. Erieka Bennett, Head of Mission (AU) Diaspora African Forum Committee, the Award was conceived as a platform to recognize women of Africa and African descent who have contributed to the struggle for political, social and economic independence at various levels of engagement with excellence.

The presentation categories were ‘The Living Legends Award’ in recognition of the elders who have paved the way and ‘The Women of Excellence Award’.

Recipients of the ‘The Living Legends Award’ were Nigerian business magnet Dorothy Anyiam-Osigwe, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, President of Liberia and the first female Head of State on the continent, Joyce Banda, former President of the Republic of Malawi, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, current AU Chairperson and Winnie Mandela, South African anti-apartheid heroine and wife of former President of South Africa, late Nelson Mandela.

Recipients of ‘Women of Excellence Award’ were Saida Agrebi of Tunisia, Nardos Bekele-Thomas of Ethiopia, Dr. Arikana Chihombori of Zimbabwe, Graca Machel of Mozambique, Justice Victoria Okobi of Nigeria, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings of Ghana, Sama Salifu of Ghana and Dr. Julieti Tuakli of Ghana.

In her acceptance speech, Malawi’s former President Banda thanked the organizers of the event for ‘recognizing’ her, observing that sometimes people selflessly work towards improving other people’s livelihoods without knowing that other people are noticing.

Said Banda: “I have learnt through my own experience that women and girls and the underprivileged need our support and encouragement if they are to break free from bonds of poverty and abuse”.

She added: “Women need economic empowerment while the girl child needs education. If a woman cannot support her family economically, children tend to drop out of school early. When a girl drops out of school, they end up in early marriage and most often die from pregnancy related complications because they are still young when they conceive.”

Former Malawi leader Banda said there is still a lot more to be done to change women’s livelihoods and she was committed to continue making her contribution towards ensuring that the marginalized of the society, especially women and children, have access to opportunities that would help them achieve their full potential in life.

Said Banda: “I will work: I will work; and work until the work is done.”

In her speech, Liberian Sirleaf said there will be more women Presidents in Africa in the next years, saying “Joyce Banda and I are not the end of the journey”.

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azibambo a DPP kulephera kumugwira Namaloko kuti afotokoze bwino za cashgate,mayi uyu akudziwiratu kuti inayamba ndi DIPHIPHI komanso mukuopa kuyalutsidwa.mukudziwanaaa!!!

I thought JB was going back home to Malawi at the end of May. We are now half way through June and still no sight of her on the streets of Lilongwe. Who is footing the bill for her foreign tours and hotel stays since she left the Malawi after the 2014 elections? If she is using her own finances, she must be a very wealthy woman indeed. All these accolades that she is receiving here there and everywhere are actually meaningless and of no value whatsoever. I she hiding from something I wonder? Perhaps she is afraid to come… Read more »

We miss u mama come to rescue us,we are in exotic exile.


Haunted lady,those showering her with the so called awards are circles of her friends.In Malawi we at times applaud mediocrity,in the US,one is recognised as the 43rd or 44th president,if directly voted into office,not by marely completing other people’s terms,that’s why we hear very little of Gerlad Ford.



Mmalawi Osathawa Xheno says

Mwala umene amisili omanga anukana unasanduka wapangodya

City shooter

Bingu or no Bingu, JB stands as she is and will alwez be remembered by pipoh without jealousy. Pipoh who dont politicise everything in lyf. JB is not just a politician like u’re so called leaders but she’s an activist and thats what her unique from the rest..Its for this reason that when we fail to recognise the great things our fellow Malawian did, still the world is able to do so, hence such awards. Do the job some eyes will see. Bravo! Bravo Mama!

warder wamkulu

Chilundu mwakolekap pa phewa munabera kwa mayi sirleaf jonhnson ngati simukafunda Ku Maula ndi mwayi.Maunyolo abisiratu pa KIA.


While the other three winners went home after collecting their award, abiti Mtila stayed in exile fearing arrest for cashgate crimes and common theft.

Mbowe Mulambia

Congrats mama

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