Prof. Kofi Gyimah-Boadi wins 2017 Martin Luther King prize

The Executive Director of the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), Professor Gyimah Boadi has been awarded the 2017 Martin Luther King Award for Peace and Social Justice by the US Embassy in Ghana.

The award, which is in its 10th year, is to recognize a Ghanaian citizen who personifies Dr. King’s philosophy and actions and his works have significantly inured to the benefit of society.


The US Ambassador to Ghana, Robert P. Jackson in his address at the award event on Thursday morning said Dr. King fought for equal rights through nonviolent protests and through constructive dialogue. His message and his methods remain relevant throughout the world today.  He understood that change happens when people are informed — when they become convinced that the status quo is simply not good enough, and that they deserve better.”



He said, Prof. Gyimah-Boadi had set a “lofty standard for scholarly research among the think tank community in Ghana, and across Africa.”


“His work has helped promote democracy, good governance, and economic opportunity.  He has championed human rights for marginalized and vulnerable populations. In doing so, he has served as an advocate for millions of people, giving them greater access to essential services and a greater voice in how they are governed,” he added.

Prof. Gyimah Boadi

Prof. Gyimah Boadi

Professor Gyimah Boadi had spent many years of his life working to promote democracy in Ghana and Africa through various organizations he has been affiliated with.


At the Center for Democratic Development in Ghana, where is the Executive Director, he has championed many policy ideas and positions aimed at strengthening the country’s democracy and ensuring good and accountable governance.


Robert Jackson described him as a “one of those rare men.”

“I think Dr. King would respect the way he has asked hard questions and discerned the truth.  I think he would be pleased with his tireless efforts to inform the people, so they can stand up for their rights and demand good governance and accountability.  I think Dr. King would respect the way he has constructively challenged governments, civil society, citizens, and all of us to think about the future of Africa, the future of democracy, and our responsibility to ensure peace, justice and equality for all,” the ambassador said.

The awards ceremony was attended by the heads of various civil society groups and think tanks. Also in attendance was the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Otiko Afisa Djaba and the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Usman Nuhu Sharubutu.


About Prof. Gyimah-Boadi

He is the Executive Director of the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), an independent, non partisan and, non-profit policy research and advocacy organization dedicated to the promotion of democracy, good governance and economic opportunity in Ghana and Africa; and the Afrobarometer, a pan-African survey research project tracking public opinion on political, economic and social developments in African countries.

He is also a professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Ghana, Legon.

Prof. Gyimah Boadi (L)

Prof. Gyimah Boadi (L)

With a PhD from the University of California (Davis) and a BA from the University of Ghana, he has taught in several universities in Africa and the United States, in addition to the University of Ghana.

He has undertaken consultancy assignments and written many commissioned reports.

A fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, he is also a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Democracy; the International Advisory Board of the International Center for Transitional Justice (New York); the Founding Advisory Group of the Institute for Integrated Transitions [IFIT] (Madrid); and the Technical Committee and Advisory Council of the Ibrahim Index of African Governance of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation (London). He also serves on the governing council of the Ghana Integrity Initiative (the local chapter of Transparency International); and the Catholic Institute of Business and Technology.

By: Jonas Nyabor/

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