Top 10 Africans Who Have Won The Nobel Peace Prize

5 min

The Nobel Peace Prize is an annual prize awarded to those who have done the most or best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.
Several Africans have been awarded this prize since its inception in 1901 . . A cash prize of $930,000 is also awarded to the winners, making it one of the worthy prizes to be won today. .

All the information is provided by the Nobel Peace Prize Website.

10. Kofi Annan

FILE PHOTO – U.N.-Arab League mediator Kofi Annan addresses a news conference at the United Nations in Geneva August 2, 2012. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
  • Country: Ghana
  • Year Awarded: 2001

Annan pursued a varied career in the UN system until 1993, when he was appointed Deputy Secretary-General for peacekeeping operations, a position he held until 1997, when he took over as the United Nations’ seventh Secretary-General.

Kofi Annan was awarded the Peace Prize for having revitalized the UN and for having given priority to human rights. The Nobel Committee also recognized his commitment to the struggle to contain the spreading of the HIV virus in Africa and his declared opposition to international terrorism.

9. Denis Mukwege

  • Country: Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Year Awarded: 2018

Denis Mukwege was born in Bukavu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Mukwege received the opportunity to study medicine in Bujumbura at the University of Burundi and graduated with a medical degree in 1983. To help women injured during childbirth, he continued his education in gynecology at the University of Angers in France. In 1999 he founded Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, where thousands of victims of sexual violence during armed conflicts have been treated. Although he has been a target of attempted murder, he is still active there.

As a surgeon Denis Mukwege has helped thousands of victims of sexual violence in armed conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Both on a national and an international level he has repeatedly condemned impunity for mass rape and criticized the Congolese government and other countries for not doing enough to stop the use of sexual violence against women as a strategy and weapon of war.

8. Desmond Tutu

  • Country: South Africa
  • Year Awarded: 1984

Like his countryman Albert Lutuli, the Anglican bishop Desmond Tutu was honored with the Peace Prize for his opposition to South Africa’s brutal apartheid regime. Tutu was saluted by the Nobel Committee for his clear views and his fearless stance, characteristics which had made him a unifying symbol for all African freedom fighters. Attention was once again directed at the nonviolent path to liberation.

Despite bloody violations committed against the black population, as in the Sharpeville massacre of 1961 and the Soweto rising in 1976, Tutu adhered to his nonviolent line. The Peace Prize award made a big difference to Tutu’s international standing, and was a helpful contribution to the struggle against apartheid. The broad media coverage made him a living symbol in the struggle for liberation, someone who articulated the suffering and expectations of South Africa’s oppressed masses.

7. Mohamed Elbaradei

  • Country: Egypt
  • Year Awarded: 2005

In the reasons it gave for the award, the Nobel Committee pointed to the important work ElBaradei and the IAEA had done to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to ensure that civil use of nuclear power takes place under reliable international control. The Committee also noted how much ElBaradei had done to strengthen the IAEA as an organization and to increase accession to the nuclear non-proliferation regime.

6. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

  • Country: Liberia
  • Year Awarded: 2011

In Liberia, bloody civil wars ravaged the country between 1989 and 2003. In 2005, two years after the guns fell silent, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was elected as the nation’s president. As the first female head of state ever to be democratically elected in Africa, she has worked to promote peace, reconciliation and social and economic development.

Women often suffer most when wars and conflicts erupt. At the same time, their opportunity to influence events during conflicts is often severely limited. Women’s rights and full participation in democratic processes are important to ensure lasting peace.

5. Leymah Gwobee

  • Country: Liberia
  • Year Awarded: 2011

Leymah is best known for leading a nonviolent movement that brought together Christian and Muslim women to play a pivotal role in ending Liberia’s devastating, fourteen-year civil war in 2003. This historic achievement paved the way for the election of Africa’s first female head of state, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. It also marked the vanguard of a new wave of women emerging worldwide as essential and uniquely effective participants in brokering lasting peace and security.

4. Anwar El-Sadat

  • Country: Egypt
  • Year Awarded: 1978

Sadat shared the Peace Prize with Israel’s Prime Minister Begin after having taken the initiative in negotiating a peace treaty between the two countries. The so-called Camp David Accords came about thanks to the mediation efforts of US President Jimmy Carter.

3. F.W. de Klerk

  • Country: South Africa
  • Year Awarded: 1993

South Africa’s then president President Frederik Willem de Klerk decided to release Nelson Mandela, leader of the liberation movement, in 1990. Following the release, the two politicians worked together to bring an end to the policy of racial segregation. It was for his participation in this peace process that de Klerk was awarded the Peace Prize in 1993.

2. Wangari Maathai

  • Country: Kenya
  • Year Awarded: 2004

Wangari Maathai was the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. She was also the first female scholar from East and Central Africa to take a doctorate (in biology), and the first female professor ever in her home country of Kenya. Maathai played an active part in the struggle for democracy in Kenya, and belonged to the opposition to Daniel arap Moi’s regime.

In 1977 she started a grass-roots movement aimed at countering the deforestation that was threatening the means of subsistence of the agricultural population. The campaign encouraged women to plant trees in their local environments and to think ecologically. The so-called Green Belt Movement spread to other African countries, and contributed to the planting of over thirty million trees.

1. Nelson Mandela

  • Country: South Africa
  • Year Awarded: 1993

Son of a chief, Nelson Mandela studied law and became one of South Africa’s first black lawyers. Early in the 1950s he was elected leader of the youth wing of the ANC (African National Congress) liberation movement. When the country’s white minority government prohibited the ANC in 1960, Mandela became convinced that armed struggle was inevitable. Inspired by the guerrilla wars in Algeria and Cuba, he organized a military underground movement that engaged in sabotage. In 1962 he was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment for high treason and conspiracy against the state.

He was confined to the notorious prison island Robben Island from 1964 to 1982 . He was then moved to prison on the mainland until his release in 1990. During his imprisonment, Mandela became a rallying point for South Africa’s oppressed, and the world’s most famous political prisoner.

Nelson Mandela shared the Peace Prize with the man who had released him, President Frederik Willem de Klerk, because they had agreed on a peaceful transition to majority rule.

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Elvis Mwangi

Just an ordinary human being like you telling you facts that will shock and amaze you. I'm also a lover of music and life.