The Obafemi Awolowo Leadership Prize is instituted by the Obafemi Awolowo Foundation
on the basis of one of the major recommendations of its Special Dialogue on "Transformational Leadership and Good Governance: Lessons from the Awolowo
Example", held in July 2011. The national Prize is instituted in the name of Chief Obafemi
Awolowo to reward leadership and good governance.
Chief Obafemi Awolowo, a Nigerian and Pan-African nationalist of global repute, was the
First Premier of Nigeria's Western region and, later, Leader of Opposition in the Federal
Parliament. He was also. inter alia. Nigeria's Federal Commissioner (now known as
Minister) of Finance and Vice Chairman, Federal Executive Council. He played crucial roles
in Nigeria's constitutional and political developments in the country's colonial and
A highly revered Nigerian federalist, Chief Awolowo was variously described by Nigerian
leaders, upon his transition, as "the issue in Nigerian politics" and "the best president Nigeria
never had" in recognition of his indomitable role as a leader in Nigerian politics and policies.
Of particular relevance is Chief Obafemi Awolowo's leadership bent, well acknowledged as
people-centred, visionary, integrity-laden and underlined by enviable discipline. His
grassroots- friendly policies and transformational approach to leadership are still evident in
his various legacies.
It has been generally recognized that one of the greatest challenges facing Nigeria, and,
indeed, African countries today, is the dearth, or even near- absence of good leadership. The
Awolowo Prize for Leadership is therefore established to encourage, recognize, reward and
celebrate excellence in Nigerian leadership.