Alice Wairimu Nderitu was recently announced as one of the 3 winners of the Global Pluralism Award 2017. The Global Centre for Pluralism which is an international organization headquartered in Canada, selected Alice to commend her for her leadership in preventing hostilities and brokering peace throughout Africa. The Award is a program of the Global Centre for Pluralism which is an international education and research organization founded by His Highness the Aga Khan and the Government of Canada. The international Award jury comprising 5 independent members from different disciplines is chaired by the Rt. Hon. Joe Clark, former Prime Minister of Canada. This year, they reviewed over 200 nominations from 43 countries. After careful consideration, they selected the winners for their extraordinary, innovative work to advance respect for diversity.
Our very own Alice Nderitu is a peacemaker, conflict mediator, and gender equality advocate. She uses both traditional and modern approaches to peace building where she negotiates behind the scenes with African leaders at the highest levels to prevent violence, particularly leading up to elections. Alice was also a founder and co-chairperson of the Uwiano Platform for Peace. This is a conflict prevention agency that was the first to link early warning to early response in Kenya. It is largely credited with leading efforts to ensure peaceful processes during the 2010 Constitutional referendum and 2013 elections.
In 2013 and 2014, she successfully advocated for women to be included in the peace process in Nigeria and draft their own peace agreement. Her efforts continued to spread across in Nigeria and in 2015, she became the lead mediator of an armed conflict between 29 ethnic communities in Southern Kaduna Nigeria. Her great work in promoting peace saw her brought back as the lead mediator of an inclusive dialogue among 56 ethnic communities in Nigeria’s Southern Plateau. Alice was the only female mediator among three selected to steer an impressive 16-month peace process in Kenya’s Rift valley as Commissioner of the National Cohesion and Integration Commission. This process led to the region’s first peaceful elections in 20 years. She handled these peace talks in a table with 100 elders from ten ethnic communities.
The Global Centre for Pluralism will recognize Alice along with other winners who are Daniel Webb of Australia and Leyner Palacios Asprilla of Colombia, for their extraordinary and innovative work to advance respect for diversity the inaugural award ceremony on November 15, 2017 in Ottawa, Canada. Each winner will receive $50,000 CAD to further their work.
As Kenyans, we should not only celebrate and applaud Alice Nderitu for her commendable work, but we should endeavour to live up to the standards she has set. Congratulations Alice!
Featured image via http://award.pluralism.ca.