The Board of Directors of the Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung für die Freiheit unanimously nominated renowned Kenyan economist, James Shikwati to receive this year’s “Walter Scheel Award for Commitment to Development Cooperation”.
Mr. James Shikwati, is the founder and Director of the Inter Region Economic Network (IREN Kenya). Mr Shikwati is also the country director for Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE Kenya).
The 45 year old receives the award for his involvement in steering the discussion on foreign aid in Africa. Mr. Shikwati has been vocal on the need for Africa to foster individual initiative in development matters; the push for competitiveness-expanded entrepreneurship opportunities to tap into the continent’s vast resources and the importance of investments in African people to promote freedom and economic success.
His work has, however, drawn criticism from some economists who have questioned his logic advocating for declining financial aid which is a lifeline for many poor households in Africa. He received major media coverage in Germany last year after his public lecture where he demand a stop of aid to Africa. Born into humble beginnings, James shocked many for being a “poor” African who is “ungrateful” to the “blessing” that is aid. (Read:Kenyan Causes Uproar in Frankfurt for Criticising Aid to Africa)
The prize, named after former German President Walter Scheel, is given to individuals and organisations providing particular services towards development in society.
Mr Shikwati will share the prize with Germany physicist Eyke Weber.
The award is named after Walter Scheel, a former president and chancellor in Germany. It was first awarded in Berlin in 2011.
The award ceremony will take place September 9, 2015 at the Villa Hammerschmidt in Bonn, Germany.