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The voice achievers award, held in the netherlands, on 17th october, 2014

Netherlands Award
THE VOICE ACHIEVERS AWARD, HELD IN THE NETHERLANDS, ON 17TH OCTOBER, 2014

On Friday, 17th October, 2014, Her Excellency, Mrs. Bianca Olivia Odumegwu-Ojukwu, Ambassador of Nigeria to the Kingdom of Spain and Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) was honoured with The Outstanding African Ambassador in the Diaspora Award, by The Voice Magazine, during The Voice Achievers Award 2014. The award ceremony took place at the Van der Valk Hotel, Almere, The Netherlands. Other renowned personalities and some distinguished Nigerians were also honoured on that day.


The award was in recognition and appreciation of Her Excellency’s outstanding contributions to good governance and excellence in public service as well as advancing the cause of humanity and Nigerians, since her appointment as Nigeria’s principal representative to the Kingdom of Spain. She was acknowledged to have within the short time of her assumption of office, significantly transformed the Embassy of Nigeria in Spain physically and functionally.


The Voice Achievers Award was established in The Netherlands as a project of The Voice Magazine to recognize Africans and friends of Africa who have not only distinguished themselves in their various areas of endeavour but have had a positive and outstanding impact on African and Africans. Among prominent Africans honoured in the past by The Voice were Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, former President of the Republic Zambia; Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, President of Sierra Leone; Mrs. Fatou Bensouda, Chief Prosecutor, International Criminal Court; Ms. Miet Smet, President European Parliamentarians for Africa, amongst others.


The main highlight of the event was the keynote paper by the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Mrs. Fatou Bensouda. In her keynote address, titled “Ending Impunity in Africa”, Mrs. Fatou Bensouda, who herself was a former recipient of the award in 2012, noted that the ICC and in particular, the Office of the Prosecutor since its inception “has continuously committed itself to confronting and combatting the culture of impunity for those who commit mass crimes that tear at the fabric of the society”. Her Office she further noted has been working tirelessly in its efforts to seek justice for the victims of the most atrocious crimes and that this crucial work was being pursued in collaboration with African countries.


She stated that the Courts relationships with Africa should not be overlooked or undermined, rather the Court should be seen as the extension of Africa’s efforts to end impunity for mass crimes. She stressed that the ICC is a crucial pillar that upholds not only our ability to ensure justice for the victims of such brutal forms of criminality, but also supports national governments to further strengthen their Nations criminal justice infrastructure.


In his speech at the occasion, the publisher of The Voice Magazine, Pastor Elvis Iruh stated that Her Excellency was nominated by the Board and readers of the magazine for the award and noted that the awards were given to those who have had a positive impact on their communities and the country or region they operate. He further stated that the aim was to encourage sustainable and inclusive growth and noted that the awardees were all deserving of the awards in view of their individual contributions to the growth of the continent and hoped that they will act as a benchmark for others to follow suit.

Award presentationThe award was presented to Ambassador Bianca Odumegwu-Ojukwu by Her Excellency, Mrs. Nimota Akanbi, OON, the Nigerian ambassador to the Kingdom of The Netherlands. In her acceptance speech, Ambassador Odumegwu-Ojukwu stated that she was humbled by the award and thanked The Voice Magazine for honouring her and expressed her appreciation to those who nominated her. She stated that she will continue to do her best to promote the good image of Nigeria and to serve Nigerians to the best of her ability. She called on Nigerians to support President Goodluck Jonathan in his effort to transform Nigeria and make the country a nation of our collective aspirations and dream. She however dedicated the award to the staff of the Embassy of Nigeria, Madrid, for their individual and collective support and commitment to bring about the desired change. She equally dedicated the award to all Nigerians living in Spain for their support and encouragement and noted that without their support, the successes recorded so far would not have been achieved.

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