Ugandan scoops top Commonwealth award

By Apollo Mubiru

Two Ugandans were among 20 talented young people who were shortlisted for the 2018 Commonwealth Youth Awards.

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Tumusiime (second right) and others winners with their plaques at Queen Elizabeth II Center in London. Courtesy photo

Uganda's Sherifah Tumusiime was named the Commonwealth Youth Award regional winner for Africa and Europe.

Tumusiime is the founder of Zimba Group, a startup business that provides technology and software solutions for Small and medium enterprises which provides tools, technologies, platforms and networks to improve the livelihood of women in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Two Ugandans were among 20 talented young people who were shortlisted for the 2018 Commonwealth Youth Awards. Another Ugandan was Lawrence Okettayot whose project was about Sustainable Development Goal 11, Sustainable Cities and Communities.

The awards recognize outstanding young people aged 15 to 29 whose innovative projects and programmes have had a significant impact on their communities.

This year's focus was on celebrating young people's contribution towards a fairer, more sustainable, more secure and more prosperous future for the Commonwealth: the four sub-themes of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) taking place in London.

The theme for this year: 'Towards a Common Future', addressing how working together can create a more sustainable, fairer, secure and prosperous future in line with CHOGM.

The 20 finalists were shortlisted from more than 400 applications from across the globe.

In addition to a grant of £1,000 to continue their development work, each finalists was awarded a trophy and certificate.

The Regional Young Persons of the Year received £3,000, and the Commonwealth Young Person of the Year picked up £5,000.

The Pan-Commonwealth adjudication panel for the final shortlisting of the overall regional and overall winner of the 2018 awards, convened by the Commonwealth Secretariat, included the High Commissioner for Saint Kitts and Nevis, representatives from the High Commissions of Fiji, Malaysia, and Kenya, a trustee of the British Youth Council and the Commonwealth Local Government Forum.

Last year's Commonwealth Young Person of the Year was Krystle Reid, an advocate for empowerment of young persons living with disabilities in her native country Sri Lanka.