Breaking Free! Freedom Speech and Award Ceremony 2017
Under this motto, the annual Africa Freedom Speech and Award Ceremony of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom was held in Johannesburg on Friday, 27 October 2017. This year's Freedom Prize recepient is President of the United Party for National Development (UPND), a liberal politcal party from Zambia, Hakainde Hichilema, who campaigns for democracy and freedom in his country.
Hakainde Hichilema was presented with the prize by the leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA) in South Africa, Mmusi Maimane, who in his speech expressed Hichilema's special commitment in his native Zambia, in which he was not afraid to accept the loss of personal freedom for his political convictions. Hichilema has spent several months in prison for his involvement. In his words of thanks, Hichilema called for not being intimidated, but rather fighting for his beliefs. Only those who are not afraid could reach their goals in the end. And he was convinced that there was a good and democratic future for his homeland Zambia, but also for the rest of Africa, in which the democratic values would actually be lived. The event was opened by Ismail Jussa, leader of The Civic United Front (CUF) from Zanzibar, who spoke on the state of freedom in Africa.
The Africa Freedom Award was presented for the second time this year by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom and honors personalities who have made a special contribution to the freedom in Africa. On October 27, the celebrations coincided with the birthday of Oliver Tambo, who, almost a quarter of a century after his death in South Africa, is considered one of the great fighters against apartheid and who, like Nelson Mandela, stands for the aspirations of the South African people. With the venue in Sophiatown, therefore, the Foundation deliberately chose Sophiatown because of its history.