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The 2023 Ubuntu/Botho Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi Award is presented to: HE President Olusegun Obasanjo

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Ubuntu/Botho is a traditional African concept of the Nguni and Sotho-speaking people of Southern Africa, which can roughly be translated as “humanity towards others”. Ubuntu/Botho represents the full circle of life.

The Ubuntu/Botho Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi Award is awarded annually by the Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi Foundation to an exceptional individual or organisation whose life and work is dedicated to the advancement of humanity, peace, development, freedom, democracy, and the environment.

It recognises servant leadership to humanity and promotes ethical moral leadership in building a just and prosperous society.

The 2023 Ubuntu/Botho Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi Award is presented to: HE President Olusegun Obasanjo


The 2023 Ubuntu/Botho Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi Award is presented to HE General Olusegun Obasanjo, the former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in recognition of his life-long service to the revolution of goodwill, and his unwavering commitment to the course of democracy, peace, nation-building, and reconciliation in Africa and around the world. President Obasanjo is an international statesman with a profound sense of duty and passion for conflict resolution and mediation. President Obasanjo had a distinguished military career and was a member of the 1957 UN Peacekeeping Mission to Congo and received the instrument of surrender on behalf of the Nigerian Government from opposing forces in the Nigerian Civil Conflict, which lasted from 1967 to 1970.

President Obasanjo rose to the full rank of General and became Nigeria’s Head of State in 1976 and handed over power to a democratically elected government in 1979.

As a Freedom Fighter and a Member of the Eminent Persons Group, President Obasanjo championed the cause of South Africa’s freedom and democracy.

President Obasanjo was jailed for his pro-democracy views and beliefs in 1995 to 1998; and post his release, he was democratically elected Nigeria’s President in 1999 and served for two terms.

In 2008, President Obasanjo was appointed by the United Nations as Special Envoy for Africa and has since overseen democratic elections on behalf of the African Union and ECOWAS across the continent.

President Obasanjo, most recently, has been instrumental in the peace process to end hostilities between Ethiopia and one of its regions, Tigray, by securing a ceasefire agreement and a commitment by the parties to pursue peace.

President Obasanjo continues to serve the People in fields of education, agriculture, and leadership development; and steadfastly promotes the twin pillars of self-help and self-reliance.

President Obasanjo has contributed to knowledge production and as a scholar has authored over 30 books covering various topics.

On behalf of all people of goodwill around the World, the Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi Foundation thanks President Obasanjo for his life of Ubuntu.

This citation was presented at the Inaugural Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi Foundation Lecture on 21 March 2023 at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban and published on on 21 March 2023.