President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera on Friday evening presented an award to Mozambican national Mr. Joao Ortega Teixeira Amone who emerged the inaugural winner in Chakwera Prize for Public Speaking.
Chakwera established the award in 2021 during his tenure as SADC Chairperson to solicit the views of young people from across Africa about their aspirations for the continent.
The competition comes with a US$4, 000 cash prize. This year’s competition was sponsored by NBS Bank and Simso Malawi, whose leaders were present at the ceremony to bear witness to the presentation of the award.
Also present was Mozambique’s Deputy Ambassador to Malawi, Mr. José Zita.
In his remarks prior to the presentation of the award, President Chakwera stated that the Public Speaking Prize is an expression of his belief that national leaders must always listen to and value the voices of citizens.
By way of example, the President described the insights he himself gained from his experience of hearing Malawians vocalize their frustrations about the acute shortage of fuel in the country when he passed by long lines of cars waiting for fuel at filling stations in Lilongwe earlier today.
Chakwera said that listening to the voices of citizens going through such hardships is a useful reminder to him that it is the people whose interest he is in office to serve and whose problems his Government was elected to serve.
Amone’s winning speech, which was submitted in Portuguese, was about the need for Africans to work and stand together as one on the world stage in order to protect Africa’s resources from exploitation and abuse.
President Chakwera praised Joao for the courage clarity, and passion of his delivery and called on all African citizens to continue using their voice to speak truth to power, because to speak is power.