Three Cameroonian women emerge 2023 winners of German Prize for Africa award

Three Cameroonian women, Sally Mboumien, Esther Omam, and Marthe Wandou have been awarded the German Prize for Africa Award 2023 for their outstanding contributions in promoting peace and the protection of the rights of women and children in Cameroon.

Sally Mboumien, a teacher and feminist, and Esther Omam, Executive Director of the NGO, Reach Out and a finalist for the prestigious World Women Building Peace Award from the United States Institute of Peace who hail from the Southwest and Northwest regions have been coordinating efforts towards promoting peace to end the Anglophone crisis.

The third is a lawyer and activist Marthe Wandou who in 1998 founded the NGO Action Locale pour un développement participatif et autogéré (Aldepa) in the Far North region which aimed at encouraging parents to send their children to school, especially the girl child.

In 2021, she received the Alternative Nobel Prize for her commitment to gender equality for more than 20 years.

They will officially receive their prizes in Berlin, Germany come September 2023.

According to the Secretary General of the German Foundation for Africa, Sabine Odhiambo, the prizes were awarded to these women to raise awareness of the English-speaking crisis and the conflict caused by Boko Haram in Cameroon.

” One of the reasons why we place particular emphasis on the situation in Cameroon is because many people in Germany do not know what is happening there. These conflicts have been much neglected by Germany, and I think this is the opportunity for us to make our share of contribution to these women. It is difficult for us to understand what they are going through… It is really touching to hear these inspiring stories, to see how these women are still working for peace in their country, “she explained.

The laureates reacted saying “I feel like a child, I’m happy and I say to myself: yes! The work of women has been rewarded. It’s a victory for us, women peacebuilders”, Sally Mboumien, teacher and feminist stated.

“This prize represents the efforts of the women of the National Convention for Peace in Cameroon. It is a victory”, Esther Omam, Executive Director of the NGO Reach.

The German Prize for Africa has been awarded since 1993 by the German Africa Foundation to exceptional African personalities, in recognition of their special commitment to the fields of democracy, peace, human rights, sustainable development, research, art, and culture or social issues in Africa.

The prize was awarded in 2022 to Zimbabwean scientists Sikhulile Moyo and South African Tulio de Oliveira, the first to discover the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

Source: Cameroon News Agency