Geneva – Two Extremely Together Young Leaders, Libyan Hajer Sharief, 26, and Somalian Ilwad Elman, 29, are included in the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) Director, Henrik Urdal’s personal shortlist of possible contenders for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize.
President of the Kofi Annan Foundation Alan Doss states: “We are delighted to see the extraordinary work of young people from around the world receiving recognition in this way. We are particularly proud that two Young Leaders from our youth initiative Extremely Together are on Mr Urdal’s personal shortlist.”
Hajer and Ilwad are important catalysts for peacebuilding and combatting and preventing violent extremism in their respective countries. Both are part of the Kofi Annan Foundation’s initiative Extremely Together, a group of ten young leaders empowering young people around the world to prevent- and counter-extremism through peer-to-peer engagement and learning.
Based on their professional assessments, PRIO Directors have made it a tradition to offer their personal shortlists for the Peace Prize. Of this year’s list, Urdal explains; “…Young people are setting the agenda on issues of critical importance for peace and security both locally and globally, challenging established narratives and generational power dynamics…it is my view that the contributions of young people should be highlighted in this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.”
“…Young people are setting the agenda on issues of critical importance for peace and security both locally and globally, challenging established narratives and generational power dynamics.” – Henrik Urdal, PRIO Director
“We are delighted to see the extraordinary work of young people from around the world receiving recognition in this way. We are particularly proud that two Young Leaders from our youth initiative Extremely Together are on Mr Urdal’s personal shortlist.” – Alan Doss, President of the Kofi Annan Foundation
Extremely Together was born from Kofi Annan’s idea and vision to elevate the voices of young people on the issue of combatting and preventing violent extremism and to inspire other young people to take action for preventing violent extremism. Their task was to produce a guide, the world’s first, by young people for young people, on how to counter violent extremism your community.
On receiving the endorsement, Ilwad Elman, who works to deradicalise members of Al Shabaab and promote gender equality in Africa, says “It is such an honour to be included on the Nobel Peace Prize shortlist. It is incredibly important that we continue to advocate for the participation of young people at the highest levels of decision-making. With Extremely Together, we are not just telling the world what we are against, but we are telling the world what we are for.”
Hajer Sharief, cofounder of Together We Build It adds “I am honoured to be included among other incredible young change-makers. Extremely Together represents people from all over the world coming together to work towards the most common thing the human being has; the interest in peace.”
The Kofi Annan Foundation mobilises political will to overcome threats to peace, development and human rights. The Foundation believes that youth leadership, as epitomised through Ilwad, Hajer and the Extremely Together initiative, echoes the values and principles of its founder Kofi Annan who recognised the importance of including young people in decision-making processes.
Find out more about Ilwad Elman:
Find out more about Hajer Sharief:
Sharief and Elman were listed alongside Nathan Law Kwun-chung, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, International Rescue Committee and the Control Arms Coalition. The award will be given on December 10 in Oslo, Norway.
Contact at the Kofi Annan Foundation:
About Extremely Together
Extremely Together fosters dialogue and leadership among young people by offering a platform where they can express their ideas and propose solutions to major public issues. Violent extremism has become a major threat to our societies in general, and to young people in particular. Rather than telling young people what they should do, the Kofi Annan Foundation has worked to empower ten exceptional young leaders to carry their message to their peers and create a global movement of young people countering violent extremism from the bottom up. Their task was to produce a guide, the world’s first, by young people for young people, on how to counter violent extremism your community: