2019 Sunhak Peace Prize Award Theme
Human Rights and Human Development of Africa
The Sunhak Peace Prize for 2019 is focusing on “Africa’s human rights and human development” as the Award Theme for humanity’s future. Today, we are facing intensifying problems caused by global inequality. In order for us to build an era of peace and coexistence in the 21st century, we have to bring Africa’s development and human rights issues to the world’s consciousness and solve these issues together as a global family. We can accelerate the transformation of Africa with the combined efforts and good will of humankind.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), a Crime and Inhumane Practice Operated to Millions of Girls and Women
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), or female circumcision, is a traditional ritual usually operated to girls under the age of 10, as a symbol of purity. This operation involves in cutting or removing the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons and the operated area is sewn together, leaving a tiny hole. It has been practiced over thousands of years in many countries throughout Africa and the Middle East, due to cultural or traditional reasons. This barbaric practice is a crime and against humanity, which is usually done under insanitary conditions and without anaesthetic and medical tools.
This practice often causes infertility, problems with urination, high blood loss, infections and mortality rate up to 30 percent. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 200 million girls and women have been affected by FGM, which is prevalent in more than 30 countries, including many parts of Africa and the Middle East. Yearly, about 3.5 million and daily about 9,800 girls and women’s lives are threatened by the brutal practice.
By 2050, one third of the earth’s population of women will come from African and the people from Middle East, which pushes over 500 million girls and women at the risk of FGM. Also, due to the increase of the immigration rate, countries in Europe, the USA and Asia are being affected by FGM. Therefore, worldwide effort is urgently needed.
Transforming Africa, a Land of Poverty into the Land of Opportunity
When poverty is considered, Africa is one of the poorest parts of the world. In fact, poverty is concentrated in Africa. According to Goalkeepers Report published in 2018, which is created by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to accelerate progress towards the 17 Global Goals, more than a billion people have lifted themselves from the extreme poverty since 2000. However, this progress is centered within the region of China and India, resulting extreme poverty to be heavily concentrated in sub-Saharan African countries. By 2050, population in Africa will reach 25 percent of the earth’s population and sub-Saharan African countries are where 86 percent of the extremely poor people in the world will be concentrated, living under the extreme poverty line of $1.90 per day. In fact, when the country’s rapid population growth and economic standard continues, Africa will fall into a disastrous state.
There is another concern to the African continent. Africa is world’s youngest continent. Nearly 60 percent of Africans are under the age of 25, and the young population is projected to reach 840 million by 2050. The answer is simple: continuous investment and create opportunities for world’s fastest-growing, poorest and youngest countries. This will greatly reduce extreme poverty in Africa, just like China and India. Also, this will empower human rights and create opportunities for African people. Africa’s young people have the potential to drive Africa’s development and growth. Continuous investment to Africa will produce activists, innovators, leaders, and workers of the future.
However, when Africa can’t lift itself from extreme poverty, the young population will fall into cycle of poverty, inequality, and unemployment, even without having the chance to experience development. Moreover, Africa can become a land of problems with violence, instability, terrorism and refugee issues, which will also bring global instability. It is time to bring global efforts and good will of humankind for Africa.
2019 Sunhak Peace Prize Laureates
Dirie(Somalia)A Human Rights Activist Who Publicized the Issue of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) to the World
Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina(Nigeria)Spearheading Good Governance of Africa through Agricultural Innovation and Eradication of Poverty