Kenyan finalist for Global Pluralism Award

Wednesday July 05 2017

Alice Nderitu with Nigerian leaders after she brokered a peace agreement. PHOTO | COURTESY

By The EastAfrican

The Global Centre for Pluralism, an international education and research organisation founded by His Highness the Aga Khan and the government of Canada, has announced the 10 finalists for the 2017 Global Pluralism Award.

Among them is Kenya’s Alice Wairimu Nderitu, chosen for her work in mediation and conflict prevention throughout Africa.

“We are witnessing societies worldwide becoming more deeply divided. The need for respect and acceptance across differences is all the more urgent,” said John McNee, secretary-general of the Global Centre for Pluralism.

“The work of the 10 finalists of the Global Pluralism Award, and all the nominees, is a testament to what can be achieved when pluralism is put into practice.”

The award jury, chaired by Joe Clark, former Canadian prime minister, comprises five members from various disciplines. The jury reviewed more than 200 nominations from 43 countries.

The finalists were selected for their extraordinary, innovative work to advance respect for diversity. 


The only woman

Ms Nderitu stood out among the nominees for her work as a peacemaker, conflict mediator and gender equality advocate in Kenya and Nigeria.

As commissioner of the National Cohesion and Integration Commission, she steered a 16-month peace process in Kenya’s Rift Valley. She was the only female mediator at the peace table with 100 elders from 10 ethnic communities.

Most recently, she became the only woman to have brokered two sets of peace agreements in Nigeria: One between 29 ethnic communities in Kaduna and another between 56 ethnic communities in Southern Plateau.

Of the 10 finalists, three winners will be recognised at the inaugural Global Pluralism Award ceremony in Ottawa, Canada. Each winner will receive $50,000 to further their work. 

The other finalists in the running for the award are ATD Quart Monde of France, BeAnotherLab of Spain, Daniel Webb of Human Rights Law Centre, Australia, Fundación Construir of Bolivia.

Hand Talk of Brazil, Leyner Palacios Asprilla of the Committee for the Rights of Victims of Bojayá, Colombia, Sawa for Development and Aid of Lebanon, Wapikoni Mobile of Canada, and Welcoming America of the United States.