The Kenyan education Cabinet Secretary, Amb. Amina Chawahir Mohamed, is this year’s winner of of the Women of Excellence award.
Making the announcement yesterday, the African Union and the Diaspora African forum said they were honouring the first woman minister for education in Kenya for her long and outstanding work in girls’ education and governance.
The annual African Women of Excellence Awards (AWEA) recognises and honours women of Africa and the diaspora who have contributed to the struggle for political, social and economic independence.
This year’s theme pays tribute to the first iconic recipient of the AWEA Committee’s Living Legends Award Winnie Madikizela Mandela.
Previously, Mohamed served as the minister for foreign affairs and international trade, deputy executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme and permanent secretary in the ministry of justice, national cohesion and constitutional affairs where she played a key role in creating the 2010 Constitution in Kenya.
Most recently, she has worked tirelessly in the arenas of women’s empowerment and girls’ education in Kenya and around the world, especially as co-chair of the Commonwealth High Level Platform for Girls’ Education which works to put 130 million out of school girls back in the classroom.
Speaking to the Inter Press Service (IPS) Amina Mohamed said, “the AWEA is a great honour which I accept with humility and gratitude; and which I share with my family, colleagues and friends who have encouraged me all along. The award is recognition that I have made a demonstrable contribution towards the progress of my country and in enriching the lives of our people. It is a very important award that will no doubt inspire other women in the country, and especially young girls, to develop confidence in themselves and in their ability to make positive and tangible impact in their communities and nations”.
The elegant Amina who served as the Cabinet Secretary (Minister) for Foreign Affairs and International Trade and was the first woman to hold this position in Kenya. During this period, she raised Kenya’s international foreign profile leading to the highest increment of Foreign Direct Investment to the country by 400%. The country also received during her tenure the highest number of Heads of State and Government and dignitaries in history.
Amina further added that “the well-being of our country, now and in the future, lies in our hands. Building a country is a collective responsibility and exercise in which each one of us has a role to play and a contribution to make. In making our contribution, in whatever capacity, we must embrace the virtues of hard work, careful reflection, patriotism, honesty, accountability, justice and fairness and the pursuit of public good. I believe that my adherence to these virtues have inspired this award. I am grateful to my family, friends and colleagues for their continued support.”
Ambassador Amina has been attending the ‘Leave No Girl Behind’ Conference, in New York, at the annual United Nations General Assembly which commenced on Monday September 24, 2018.
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