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2023 African Hero's Awardee: Gabriel Asante

Updated: Mar 21, 2023

A Ghanaian PhD student whose leadership helped over 1,000 students flee war-torn Ukraine has been named winner of the 2023 African Hero's Award in the USA.

Gabriel Asante. Image credit © Gabriel Asante
Gabriel Asante. Image credit © Gabriel Asante

Gabriel Asante, the former president of the Ghana Students Association in Hungary (GASH), was awarded his accolade on 4 March by Ohio University’s African Students’ Union in Athens, Ohio.

Notable figures

He follows a long list of illustrious of African award-winners, including notable Ghanaians, who have bagged the title since the awards were established.

The African Hero's Award is presented every spring semester to an African or Africanist who is contributing to the development and advancement of the African continent and people of African descent on the continent or in the diaspora.

The Award was created to mark and celebrate the release of the former and the late President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, from prison.

As a result, President Mandela became the first award recipient in 1991.

African heroes

Previous award-winners have included:

  • Her Excellency Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao, former Permanent Representative of the African Union Mission to the USA and Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of African Diaspora Development Initiative;

  • Dr. Patrick Loch Otieno Lumumba, former Director of Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission and current Director of The Kenya School of Law;

  • Anas Aremeyaw Anas, Ghanaian undercover investigative journalist;

  • Dr. Ibrahim Soce Faal, Regional Emergencies Director of the Health Emergencies Program of the World Health Organization;

  • Physician Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, the founder of National Cardiothoracic Center and the Ghana Heart Foundation;

  • Survivor-activist Evelyn Chumbow, former member of the United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking;

  • and Dr. Steve Howard, former Director of the African Studies Program and current Graduate Director of the School of Media Arts and Studies of Ohio University.

Gabriel’s award recognised his advocacy initiatives, and passion in fighting for cost-elimination in upper secondary level in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Academic work

He is a PhD. candidate at the Doctoral School of International Relations and Political Science at Corvinus University of Budapest, Budapest and is published in a number of academic journals.

He has also been recognised for his contribution to achieving Goal 4 of Agenda 2030 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations – to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”

In the early throes of the Russo-Ukraine War, Gabriel supported the rescue mission to, as GASH President to bring over 1,400 students, including Ghanaians, Nigerians, Ukrainians, Cubans, Tanzanians, and Indians, to safety in Hungary, he told AKADi Magazine.

GASH President Gabriel Asante donating cash and other items to displaced students from Ukraine
Gabriel Asante, as GASH President, is pictured donating cash and other items to displaced students from Ukraine. Image credit © Gabriel Asante

Gabriel receives his award at the 32nd African Heroes’ Night and was also a keynote speaker, addressing the topic of advocacy for Africa’s unity and development.

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