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Africa Road Builders: two African heads of state receive 2024 Babacar Ndiaye Prize

The “Africa Road Builders” prize was created in honour of Babacar Ndiaye, who was President of the African Development Bank Group from 1985 to 1995

The “Africa Road Builders” Selection Committee met in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates on 18 April 2024 where it awarded the Babacar Ndiaye Prize 2024 to the Presidents of Equatorial Guinea and of the Republic of Congo, Téodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo and Denis Sassou-Nguesso. They follow in the footsteps of the head of state of Madagascar, Andry Rajoelina, who won the prize in 2023. 

President Obiang Nguema was awarded the prize “for his remarkable achievements in improving the road infrastructure in his country”, according to the Africa Road Builders press release. Republic of Congo President, Denis Sassou-Nguesso, was selected “in recognition of his commitment to the development of road infrastructure”. 

In Equatorial Guinea, the committee cited the completion of the Malabo-Sipopo and Bata-Mongomo motorways, as well as the resurfacing of roads in several other regions of the country. In Congo, the committee pointed to the road between Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire. 

“The Selection Committee congratulates Presidents Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo and Denis Sassou-Nguesso for their remarkable achievements in road infrastructure and invites them to accept their awards on 30 May 2024 in Nairobi, Kenya, at the final conference, which will take place alongside the African Development Bank Annual Meetings” scheduled for 27 to 31 May 2024, according to the press release. 

Sponsored by the African Development Bank Group, the Babacar Ndiaye “Africa Road Builders” prize is awarded by Acturoutes, a platform that provides information on the road network and infrastructure in Africa, and by Media for Infrastructure and Finance in Africa (MIFA), a network of African journalists specializing in road infrastructure. 

The “Africa Road Builders” prize was created in honour of Babacar Ndiaye, who was President of the African Development Bank Group from 1985 to 1995. Each year, the selection committee evaluates ambitious, tangible projects that have a real impact on people’s mobility in Africa. 

The Babacar Ndiaye Prize has been awarded to the following heads of state since its launch in 2016: King Mohamed VI (Morocco), Edgar Lungu (Zambia), Alassane Ouattara (Côte d’Ivoire), Ali Bongo Ondimba (Gabon) in 2016, Macky Sall (Senegal) and Paul Kagamé (Rwanda) in 2017, Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenya) in 2018, Adama Barrow (Gambia) in 2019, Abdel Fattah-al Sissi (Egypt) in 2020, Muhammadu Buhari (Nigeria) in 2021, Samia Suhulu (Tanzania) in 2022 and Andry Rajoelina (Madagascar) in 2023. 

Mike Salawou, Director of Infrastructure and Urban Development at the African Development Bank, represented the Bank Group at the selection committee ceremony announcing the winners.