Samira Bawumia, the Second Lady of the Republic of Ghana and global ambassador to Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves has been named African Woman of Excellence for her commitment to humanity.

Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is a public-private partnership of the UN Foundation that promotes a well-performing market for clean and powerful kitchen equipment. They work with a large network of public, private and non-profit partners to push the production and use of clean and efficient stoves and fuel in developing countries.

Samira Bawumia has also founded the nonprofit organization Samira Empowerment and Humanitarian Projects (SEHP), to give voice to the disadvantaged people in Ghana. They organize and promote social interventions to improve living standards. They focus on three areas: health, education and women.

Once a year Afrikanische Union organizes together with the Diasporan African Forum (DAF) the African Women of Excellence Awards to honor African women for their contribution to the development and peace in the social, political and economic spheres. This year’s event took place on September 29th in Sandton City-Johannesburg, South Africa.

Bawumia has received the award for the many projects that she accomplished. Highly remarkable is the Safe Delivery Project, an initiative that tries to combat maternal and neonatal deaths in deprived communities. They want to distribute about 100,000 birth kits to expectant mothers and also train traditional birth attendants and health workers.

SEHP has also rebuild many sanitation facilities in poorer communities in Ghana and retooled them with medical and surgical equipment and medicines: the Tamale Teaching Hospital, four health centers and ten Community-Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS).

In the sector of education, SEHP’s „library-in-a-box“ project has given away 35,000 books at 35 schools in 7 regions across Ghana, of which around 40,000 students can benefit. This is to promote the ability to read and to establish a reading culture among the students.

SEHP has also launched, with the support of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), a Coalition of People against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and Harmful Practices (CoPASH). The aim is to bring together agencies, organizations and individuals who are passionate about the rights of women and girls to better deal with cases of sexual or gender-based violence and to stand up for victims.