AfricAvenir receives Prix International Condorcet-Aron pour la démocratie

The non-profit organisation AfricAvenir International, based in Berlin, Germany, was awarded the Condorcet-Aron Prize in the category for “Prix de la réalisation étrangère” (Prize for Foreign Achievement) in the “Parliament of the French Community of Belgium” in Brussels on 17th September 2009. The Prize, with a remuneration of 1,500€, is annually awarded by the Centre for Political Research and Teaching (CREP) with the aim of honouring committed individuals and organisations who are exceptional in championing the values of humanity and democracy. The individuals and initiatives receiving the award combine critical reflection and practical action to outstanding effect.

The reasoning behind the jury’s decision in awarding the prize was as follows: “through its varied activities and cultural exchange AfricAvenir International helps raise awareness amongst the German public of a new perspective on the African continent. (…) The aim is not to talk about the African continent, but to offer a platform to African experts and activists so that a dialogue can be entered into concerning their views and ideas. At the same time AfricAvenir also manages to make a significant contribution to the critical reappraisal of the colonial history of Germany and Europe.”

Many personalities have been awarded prizes from amongst the eight different categories in recent years, including the French politician and former President of the European Parliament Simone Veil; the former Rwandan hotel manager Paul Ruseabagina, whose rescue mission to save Tutsis during the Genocide was made internationally famous by the film “Hotel Rwanda”; or the Bangladeshi doctor and writer Taslima Nasreen, who is active in advocating the equal rights of women and campaigning against the oppression of non-Islamic minorities in communities dominated by Islam.

Eric Van Grasdorff, who received the prize on behalf of all sections of AfricAvenir in Cameroun, Namibia, Germany and Austria, said: “We dedicate this prize to all the young volunteers in Africa and Europe, who tirelessly engage themselves in the ideals of the organisation, often at the expense of numerous personal sacrifices. This prize is a great honour for us and an important recognition of our work.”

AfricAvenir International was founded in the early 1980s in Cameroun. Since 2003 it has been a charitable and politically independent organisation in Berlin, striving for an equal partnership between Africa and Europe.

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