Update: All You Need To Know About The Awards

The Awards Committee of The Fatu Network Heroes Awards has finalised the categories for the top-line awards as well as the criteria. Eleven categories have been identified by a seven-man independent awards committee.

The awards event is slated for 14 March 2020 and it will attract 1000 people among them First Ladies, ministers, businesspeople and members of the Gambian diplomatic community.

The First Lady of Sierra Leone Mrs Fatima Bio will be presented with a special award for her work in the area of girls in the West Africa sub-region under her Hands Off Our Girls campaign. Other high profile figures will also be presented with special awards.

See the different awards categories and their criteria as well as an explanation of the awards committee and the awards procedures below;

Awards Committee
The members of the Awards Committee are chosen by The Fatu Network. These individuals are apolitical and have been seen by The Fatu Network as able to demonstrate fair and unbiased judgement in assisting to recognize exemplary Gambians. Once identified, the committee works independently from The Fatu Network. The Fatu Network cannot make any decisions as to who should be awarded or not.

Award Nominations
Essentially, anyone can nominate an individual or group they see fit to receive an award within the applicable category. Prior to the awards, there will be a brief period of time in which the general public has the opportunity to submit nomination suggestions based on the categories and criteria presented. From there, the awards committee will assess all suggestions and ultimately narrow it down to a maximum of 4 candidates for each category.

Determining Award Winners
Award winners will be determined by both the awards committee (60%) and general public (40%). Once the nominees for each category are finalized, there will be a public voting poll open which will feature the group/persons qualifications, work, and accomplishments. There are two methods of voting; an easily accessible online survey and AFRICELL SMS. All will be informed immediately when the polls are open, each individual can only vote ONCE.

Resolving a conflict of interest: If a member of the committee is directly involved with a nominee, they will automatically be excluded from nominating and/or voting in that category.


Agriculture- Agricultural Leadership Award
. Diaspora-Diaspora Engagement Award
Disabled- Trailblazer Award (Honoring the differently abled)
Education- Education Prize for Excellence Award
Environment- The Green Award
Health- Health Servant of the Year Award
Man of the Year Man of the Year Award
Philanthropy- Philanthropist of the Year Award
Posthumous- Iconic Gambian Award
Woman of the Year Woman of the Year Award
Youth- Exemplary Youth Award

Agricultural Leadership Award
The Agricultural Leadership awardee is one who establishes high impact achievements in the realm of Gambian agriculture. This group/person’s work has resulted in the demonstrable increase in the quality, quantity and/or availability of consumables for our urban and/or rural society- even more so if their ‘green thumb’ has been able to extend outside of the borders of The Gambia. We are considering the significance of individual achievements, but the complexity of the problem solved will be the most important aspect considered.

Increased production or productivity of crops
Reduced cost of cultivation through use of sustainable methods
Has reduced poverty, hunger or suffering; or enhanced health, nutrition, quality of life and well being
Uses cutting edge technology to address food security

Diaspora Engagement
For years, groups and individuals of the Gambian Diaspora have been selflessly and tirelessly contributing to the development of The Gambia-from a distance. The aim of the Diaspora Engagement Award is to highlight and showcase this effort! We are not talking of the obligatory remittances sent back to sustain their families back home, but going further by striving to make a difference and actively contributing to the change they want to see.

Donates an extensive amount of time, energy, or money to an underrepresented and underdeveloped cause in The Gambia
Created a group or organization that contributes to the development or advancement of the following sectors: Maternal Health, Education, Science, Poverty, Environment etc.

Education prize for excellence of the Year
“In a completely rational society, the best of us would be teachers and the rest of us would have to settle for something else”
– Lee Iacocca

The Education Prize for Excellence Award aims to highlight and reward a true inspirer in and out of the classroom, we are looking to- recognize a teacher, administrator or institution. The importance of the role a teacher and/or institution plays extends far past the textbook and deep into the future of the youth, especially in a society like this where the youth spend a large amount of time under their care. Even more so, in a society like this where the youth account for roughly 60% of the population and are, undoubtedly, the future of The Gambia.

An outstanding Teacher, Administrator or Institution
Proven record of outstanding achievement and leadership in the education sector
Uses modern techniques and innovations to impact knowledge
Achieved significant results (of a class/individual) through their influence
Exposed and encouraged youth to participate in national and international competitions
Overcomes difficult challenges to delivering quality education in a marginalized or disadvantaged community, especially in the rural Gambia

More often than not, environmental causes are neglected and not seen as a pressing enough issue to pursue. This is a wild misconception and approach the very basis of our homes and livelihoods. The Green Award will highlight and reward the efforts of a group or individual working tirelessly against the odds to ensure that a difference is made in the way we treat our environment. This can be by way of sustainable business solutions, activism, policy or any effective type of outreach being made to change the societal norms in Gambia.

Uses sustainable and innovative means to address environmental challenges
Demonstrated achievements in rolling back the effects of climate change
Initiated a major environmental initiative that addresses and provides sustainable solutions to waste management
Has a proven track record of activism to both educate and inform stakeholders and communities alike on issues affecting our environment

Health Servant of the Year
The Health Servant of the Year award is dedicated to a civil servant promoting or improving the health and well-being of all individuals that cross their paths. Regardless of social background, wealth, status or influence- this individual treats all walks of life as one when it comes to dedicating their time, expertise, and energy.

Makes ‘do’ with limited resources to incite impactful results that save or enhance lives
Shows extraordinary commitment to dispensing healthcare throughout the country
Demonstrates strong leadership that result in significant gains for a health facility
Goes above and beyond in providing greater care, excellent customer service and support for patients during their line of duty
Innovative health administrators and organizations that have made significant contributions to the health sector can also be nominated in this category

Man of the Year
This award will go to a man who inspires, motivates, invests, and dedicates himself to the advancement of the society. Through these actions, he has impacted society in a profound fashion – in terms of empowerment of youths, women, the underprivileged, peace building, and all other patriotic endeavors geared towards molding The Gambia into a beacon of hope.


Makes the single-biggest achievement/impact in a year
An emerging voice who uses his/her work to achieve a result in the greater interest of the country and people
Emerges as the single-biggest influence in the year
Showcases huge patriotism in addressing or preventing something that saves lives
Worked to enhance the image of The Gambia internationally
Brokered peace through conflict-prevention and management that fostered socio-political stability

Philanthropist of the Year
The Philanthropist of the Year award is presented to an extraordinary individual who has shown outstanding leadership in the area of philanthropy and who, throughout their giving, has made remarkable differences in bringing about sustainable social change.

Giving in the moment a ‘giving’ that is strategic and long-term
May include an individual, couple or family
Evidence of outstanding civic responsibility as demonstrated by contributions of financial resources and voluntary commitment of time
Willingness to serve in leadership roles and providing vision and the ability to involve others in philanthropic efforts

Trailblazer of the Year (Honoring the differently abled)
The Trailblazer of the Year award is accredited to celebrate and acknowledge a person with disability who, despite the odds against them, RAISE THE BAR AGAINST THE ONE SET FOR THEM.

Breaks barriers to accomplishing an extraordinary achievement, especially by members of the disability community
Proven record of sustained advocacy or campaign that empowers persons with disability
Emerged as a strong voice for the cause of persons with disability
Donates resources and time to championing the cause of persons with disability
Initiate a project that provides skills for the employability of persons with disability.

PostHumous (inspiring Gambian award)
This award celebrates a person who made numerous sacrifices for the advancement of our society. Life is precious and only true patriots are willing to give it up for the greater good. This award is a nod to not only the selflessness of the recipient but also the inspiring attributes he/she possessed.

Criteria (not limiting):
Lost their life in the previous year (2019)
Led a life of sacrifice and dedication to justice for all or any particular noble cause
Was a voice for the voiceless during their lifetime
Sacrifice resulting in lasting, positive impacts in The Gambian society

Woman of the Year
This award will go to a woman who inspires, motivates, invests, and dedicates herself to the advancement of the society. Through these actions, she has impacted society in a profound fashion – in terms of empowerment of youths, women, the underprivileged, peace building, and all other patriotic endeavors geared towards molding The Gambia into a beacon of hope.


Makes the single-biggest achievement/impact in a year
An emerging voice who uses his/her work to achieve a result in the greater interest of the country and people
Emerges as the single-biggest influencer in the year
Showcased huge patriotism by addressing or preventing something that saved or enhanced lives

Exemplary Youth
The Exemplary Youth Award section is dedicated to a young Gambian who exerts their effort to create positive social, economic and/or environmental change in our society. Making up roughly 60% of the Gambian population the youth are undoubtedly the future; but this person in particular has been demonstrating acute direction in regard to solving at least one of the numerous development issues we continue to face. This person’s ideas and actions are innovative, impactful, and has the potential to bring about true structural and institutional change. We are particularly looking for an individual who has demonstrated: Resourcefulness and Perseverance, Strategy and Bigger Picture, Revolutionary Thinking, and Advocacy.

Aged 15-35
Making a difference in the Gambian society
Has spearheaded urban and/or rural projects/community initiatives
Innovative in Business/Entrepreneurship

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