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Musu Bakoto Sawo, a Gambian changemaker, women rights advocate and human rights lawyer, has been named the 2020 ‘African of the Year’ by Nigeria’s Daily Trust. Former Botswana President Festus Mogae, who heads the seven-member award selection committee, praised Sawo for “continuous commitment to ending violence against girls and women including child marriage and female genital mutilation.”

Sawo is National Coordinator for Think Young Women in The Gamibia and a lecturer at the Faculty of Law and was previously deputy executive secretary of Gambia’s Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission. The award was initiated by the Nigerian media house in 2008, with the selection of Congolese medical doctor Denis Mukwege, who won the Noble Peace Prize in 2018.