Musu Bakoto Sawo, Gambian rights advocate, is Daily Trust African of 2020

Musu Bakoto Sawo, A Gambian rights advocate and lecturer, has emerged as the Daily Trust African of 2020.

In a statement released on Sunday, Nura Daura, the acting chief executive officer (CEO) of Daily Trust, said a seven-man panel led by former Botswana President Festus Mogae nominated and announced Sawo after a “rigorous” process.

“A key consideration for Musu Bakoto Sawo’s selection was that in this period of COVID-19, women have been particularly impacted negatively, especially during the lockdown when a lot of husbands lost their jobs, resulting in, among other tendencies, domestic violence in the homes,” Daura said.

“So, with Musu championing the rights of women in any part of Africa, which is largely a traditional society, she is deemed to be promoting a great cause, and therefore found worthy of selection for the award.

“The award is said to comes with a cash prize of $10,000. The presentation of the award will be held in March, this year, in Banjul, The Gambia” though the precise date has not been released.”

The Daily Trust chairman quoted Mogae as saying: “Musu Bakoto deserves the award for her continuous work to end violence against girls and women, including child marriage and female genital mutilation.”

Musu, a 30-year-old lawyer, is known for her efforts in combating violence against girls and women — including child marriage and female genital mutilation.

The lawyer who was married at the age of 14 and widowed at 21 is also a victim of genital mutilation.

Musu defied the odds and strove to have an education, and she has risen to the position of a university lecturer.

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