The African Writers Endowment (AWE) has invited Professor Ibrahim Gambari, and he has accepted, to serve as the Chairperson of the 2019 Quintessence Award and Conference. The event will hold on Saturday, September 28, 2019, at the Princeton Westin Hotel, Forrestal Village Princeton, New Jersey.
Professor Gambari was the first recipient of the Quintessence Award in 1998, for “distinguished accomplishments in international diplomacy and outstanding contributions to the history and heritage of African peoples.” Since then, he has gone on to become an even more celebrated and accomplished scholar-diplomat, with an illustrious career that spans academia, government and international diplomacy, including, but not limited to his appointment as the first United Nations Under-Secretary General and Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Africa (1999-2005). He is also the Founder/Chairman of the Board of Directors of Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development (SCDDD). The SDCCC is a non-governmental think-tank on research and policy studies on conflict prevention and resolution as well as democratization and development in Africa.
According to Dr. Ugorji O. Ugorji, Executive Director of the African Writers Endowment, “It is always a thing of joy when former honorees come back to help us honor current recipients. We are particularly honored to have the first recipient, my big brother, Professor Gambari, join us at this 20th year of the celebration of African peoples in world history.” The Quintessence Award is the preeminent Pan-African Leadership Award in North America, presented each year to at least one continental African leader/writer and at least one African American leader/writer.
The honorees this year include Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State who currently serves as the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, and Ms. Jacqueline Jennings, an accomplished public administrator and former Mayor of Willingboro Township, New Jersey.
The event will start at 5:30 pm with a tribute to the late writer and Nobel Laurette Toni Morrison by African Writers, led by the writer/activist and First Lady of Ekiti State, Mrs. Erelu Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi. Book signings will follow the tribute, with the ceremonies culminating in a reception and banquet.
Hosted by the AWE, the Quintessence Ball (Q’Ball) brings together African people (and their friends) from Africa, North America, and the Caribbean. The event has been supported over the years by Western Union, Good Works International, Sungai Books, TallDrums, and political and business leaders in the State of New Jersey.
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