Are you ready to meet the future of democracy? Introducing the top 10 finalists for the Kofi Annan NextGen Democracy Prize 2023, which recognises exceptional leadership shown by young activists in defending, renewing and promoting democracy.
Alejandro Daly is a young Venezuelan activist and creator of the Xenophobia Barometer, a revolutionary tool that helps identify barriers to integration of the refugee population in Colombia. He and his team play a central role in the fight against hate and extremist speech faced by the refugee population in Latin America. He is also the president of the Advisory Board of El Derecho a No Obedecer.
Andrew Regaldo is the National Grassroots Director of Country First Action and the Deputy Director of Country First Academy. Through his remarkable leadership efforts, Andrew supports pro-democracy movements in the United States and strives to fight against anti-democratic candidates in elections.
Duaa Muhammed is a human rights activist and defender who strives for the rights of Syrian refugees around the world and especially in Turkey. She is the Women, Peace, and Security program coordinator at the Syrian Female Journalists Network (SJFN). Duaa works to empower women by providing them with various resources such as workshops and trainings. She also works to prevent the deportation of Syrian refugees and to help Syrian students in Turkey access education.
Esther Ze Naw Bamvo
Esther Ze Naw Bamvo is a Democracy and Peace Activist who has worked with various organizations across Myanmar. She has dedicated her work to internally displaced people and advocated for inclusion, justice and democracy movements. She was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the World in 2021 and continues to strive for democracy and for the inclusion of ethnic minorities in Myanmar; inspiring the younger generation along the way.
Nicole Becker is a climate activist and a co-founder of Jovenes por el Clima, a youth climate organization in Argentina. She has focused her work on encouraging the participation of young people in the democratic process and in advocating for democratic institutions. As the youth champion of the Escazu Agreement, she has pushed for its implementation in Argentina and across the region.
Maung Sawyeddollah is a human rights activist and the Founder and Director of the Rohingya Student Network. He lives in a refugee camp and is in firsthand contact with the critical situation facing the Rohingya people, and hosts many events and meetings in which he discusses peace, justice and human rights. He strives for peaceful advocacy around the rights of the Rohingya, and also studies international criminal law to better educate his community.
Edmilson Angelo is the Founder and Director of Change 1’s Life and one of the most powerful young voices and agents of change in Angola. He strives to promote democracy, peace, youth leadership and security in his country and throughout Africa. Armed with multiple degrees in politics and international development, he organizes regular workshops and conferences to bring together important actors in the discussion of prominent issues such as democracy in Angola.
Rosemarie Ramitt is a teacher and disability rights advocate in Guyana, striving for equal access to voting for people with disabilities. She fights for the equal engagement of people with disabilities in political life and educates them on their rights and roles in public life. Rosemarie is an avid advocate of making democracy accessible for all, ensuring all voices are heard equally in political decision-making.
Namatai Kwekweza is the founder and Director of WELEAD Trust, a national activist from Zimbabwe who fearlessly mobilizes young people to protect democracy and the rule of law. Despite persecution, her influence extends regionally and internationally. Through WELEAD Trust, she promotes youth participation, leadership, and advocacy, recognised for her passion, intelligence, and fearless commitment.
Nika Kovač is a respected advocate for human rights and democracy, from Slovenia. With a background in Social and Cultural Anthropology, she founded the Research Institute 8th of March, focusing on addressing social and economic inequalities. Nika has coordinated impactful campaigns, including those for LGBT equality, free school lunches, and the protection of water resources. Her efforts have led to legal changes and recognition, exemplified by her prestigious “Slovenian Woman of the Year” award. Nika’s work emphasizes cooperation, sustainable community building, and broad support from individuals and organizations.
About the Kofi Annan NextGen Democracy Prize
Launched by the Kofi Annan Foundation (KAF) and the Democracy and Culture Foundation (DCF), the Kofi Annan NextGen Democracy Prize is awarded to a young leader aged between 18 and 30 and presented each year at the Athens Democracy Forum. The award recognises exceptional leadership, and its aim is to inspire more young people to commit to the advancement of democracy. An independent judging panel reviews the applications and selects the award recipient.