The Economic Community of West African States has posthumously honoured Kofi Annan, a former Secretary General of the United Nations; and Ameyo Adadevoh, the doctor who averted the widespread of Ebola in Nigeria, with the 2018 ECOWAS Prize of Excellence.
The awards were given to relatives of the honourees’ families during the 55th summit of the ECOWAS authority of heads of state and government in Abuja on Saturday.
Also honoured by the sub-regional body was Germaine Acogny, a Senegalese dancer and choreographer responsible for developing African dance and the creation of several dance schools in France and Senegal.
Nane Annan, wife of the former UN secretary-general; Bankole Cardoso, son of Adadevoh; and Acogny received the awards and cash prizes of $20,000, $10,000 and $15,000 each.
Annan, who died on August 18, 2018, was a Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh secretary-general of the UN from January 1997 to December 2006.
He and the UN were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize. He was also the founder and chairman of the Kofi Annan Foundation.
Annan, who joined the UN as a staff of its World Health Organisation’s Geneva office in 1962, was appointed the Secretary-General of the international organisation on December 13, 1996, by the Security Council.
He was later confirmed by the General Assembly, making him the first officeholder to be elected from the UN staff itself.
He was re-elected for a second term in 2001.
Adadevoh was renowned for her contributions towards curbing the spread of Ebola virus in Nigeria by placing Patrick Sawyer, the Librarian who brought the virus into Nigeria, in quarantine despite pressures from the Liberian government.
The wife of Annan, who gave an appreciation speech on behalf of the recipients, expressed gratitude to ECOWAS for the award.
Nane Annan said: “Thank you for this generous recognition of the immense contribution to the objectives of ECOWAS by my husband and dear friend.
“I would also like to thank ECOWAS on behalf of the two other laureates, two outstanding women of West Africa, the late Dr Ameyo Adadevoh (for) her selfless sacrifice to curb the spread of Ebola in Nigeria. And Madam Germaine Acogny for the quality and richness of your artistic production.”