The winner of the inaugural Africa Liberty Award is the Namibia-based Chevauchee Foundation, for its “Namibia Schools Reading and Debating Societies” program that introduces the ideas of freedom, Austrian economics, and public choice theory to students in high schools and universities across the country.
“For as long as there has been a Namibian State, there have been attempts to use state power to change and organise our society. This has produced genocide, racial discrimination, and in the post-independence era, seccessionist uprisings and ethnic tension,” said Nathan Tjirimuje, founder of Chevauchee Foundation. “The time has come for us to try something else. The Chevauchee Foundation hopes to help raise a new generation of Namibians through sustained and thorough education and sensitization campaigns. Our Reading and Debating Societies program introduces students across Namibia to ideas and ways of thinking that encourage a different understanding of the proper duties of the state as well as respect for individual rights including property rights. Our objective is nothing less than a free, prosperous, and tolerant Namibia in our lifetime.”
The success of this program has attracted nationwide media attention and has been embraced by leading political figures, including Namibia’s minister of education. Currently in more than 30 high schools and universities, the program has gained support from the entrepreneurship, business, and accounting teachers at the schools because it is seen as broadening the students’ scope of study.
Additionally, the program is designed to help identify students who can take the battle for freedom further into other African nations. A former student of the program is helping expand the model in Angola, where his family is from. Another is working on setting up a program hub in Nigeria.
Chevauchee Foundation’s aim is to spread the message that freedom in Africa can only be secured and guaranteed by greater economic growth.
The other two finalists for the inaugural Africa Liberty Award were Accra, Ghana-based IMANI Center for Policy and Education for it’s “Advocacy for ratification of European Partnership Agreement” project, and Nigeria-based African Students for Liberty (ASFL) for it’s ASFL Local Coordinator Program.
The Africa Liberty Award is part of Atlas Network’s Regional Liberty Awards. This competition recognizes think tanks that have made important contributions to improving the landscape for enterprise and entrepreneurship in Africa. The winner of the Africa Liberty Award received $5,000 and was honored at the Africa Liberty Forum.