Pride of Africa Asia-Pacific Awards ceremony is an annual event to celebrate and appreciate Africans, and stakeholders making remarkable contributions towards the development of various sectors in the African diaspora community and Africa. They extend to friends of Africa who are promoting African interests through their services.
Since their inauguration, the awards have been applauded for motivating Africans across the Asia Pacific to find ways to empower and build communities in Africa. They have also played an integral role in promoting a win-win China-Africa relationship.
Through Appreciate Africa Network events, people are coming together creating a community that appreciates and embraces diversity. Africans have spread far and wide and excelled tremendously in their various areas of expertise. Pride of Africa Asia Pacific Awards honor those achievers.
During her speech as Class of 2019 Valedictorian, Ambassador of Cape Verde to China, Hon. Tania Romualdo said, “I understand the need to improve mutual understanding and bring Africans and Chinese people together, building bridges for people-to-people cultural exchanges. When we learn more about each other’s culture, habits, and traditions, it is much easier to build stronger relations based on respect, trust, and friendship.”
Appreciate Africa Network was founded by Zimbabwean-born Dr. Samantha Sibanda. Its goal was to educate and create awareness about the beauty of Africa and its diversity. The organization is responsible for hosting and managing the Pride of Africa Awards.
During her opening remarks at the 2019 Pride of Africa Awards ceremony, Dr. Samantha Sibanda said, “This was just a dream and we know that so many times we dream but our dreams don’t come true. I never thought it will become something but today I’m proud, it’s a dream come true for me to see you all here. When faced with a situation meant to crumble you, think beyond your challenge.”
The prejudice about Africa and discrimination she faced during her studies in China motivated the formation of Appreciate Africa Network.
Sibanda is based in China and is one of the top 100 Most Influential People of African Descent Class of 2018 (MIPAD2018) in the UN. MIPAD came into being after the United Nations declared 2015-2024 as the International Decade for People of African Descent. MIPAD recognizes high achievers of African descent around the world in the spirit of recognition, justice, and development of Africa.
Dr. Samantha calls on people to support local talent and put money on the African youth. She encourages the media to write more positive African stories.
In 2020 due to the restrictions brought by the deadly Covid-19 pandemic, the awards ceremony was held virtually. Appreciate Africa Network partnered with the United Nations Office of Human Rights as the awards ceremony coincided with Human Rights Day.
In 2021, there was a temporary suspension of the awards and 2022 they are back bigger and better. The next edition of these prestigious awards will be in June 2022 in the resort city of Sanya, Hainan Island, China.
Notable recipients of past awards include;
-African Man of the Year – Ambassador of Ivory Coast to China Hon Adama Dosso
-Director’s Honorary Award – Ambassador of Namibia to China Dr. Elia G. Kaiyamo
-African Personality of the Year – Ambassador of Cape Verde to Tania Romualdo and Nwabuike Uchechukwu
-Best Airline to Africa- Ethiopian Airlines
The youngest recipient was the then 8-year-old Zimbabwean boy Mukundi Washeni who won Outstanding Young Achiever. Mukundi is a successful child actor who is a regular on Chinese television.