Archbishop Cecil Thabo Makgoba of Cape Town Wins the 2023 AACC Human Rights Award
On 20th November 2023, the General Assembly presented the AACC Human rights Award to Archbishop Cecil Thabo Makgoba in recognition of his involvement in promoting human rights by encouraging both the public and private sectors to adopt policies and take actions that benefit those living in abject poverty. The awarding ceremony took place immediately after the second General Assembly thematic plenary of the 12th General Assembly featured conversations exploring how the Love of Christ Compels Us to Work for Justice, Peace, Forgiveness, and Healing.
The issue of Human Rights is key on the African agenda as part of the overall democracy drive and is now part of common African legislation. This is further expressed in the African Union’s aspiration 3 of Agenda 2063 which provides for an Africa of good governance, democracy, respect for human rights, justice, and the rule of law.
In view of this, the AACC instituted a biennial Pan African award to recognize the contributions of Individuals and Organizations championing Human Rights, Good Governance, and the rule of Law across the continent.
Archbishop Cecil Thabo is the first to receive this human rights award aiming at encouraging African Citizens to commit to the transformation of the Continent and its inclusive and sustainable economic growth and development. He is widely celebrated for his public advocacy against economic injustices passed down from generation to generation.
“He has been on walks of witness with other faith leaders, drawing attention to the lack of toilets in shack neighborhoods in his city, earning him the nickname, the toilet archbishop.” Said the AACC president. Rt Rev Arnold Temple during the ceremony.
His initiatives, lobbying for water and sanitation in his city resulted in the signing of a janitorial contract which obliged the City to address substandard water and sanitation provision in one of the townships in his city. He also led a campaign for a Basic Income Grant for the Poor which bore celebrated results, as the government in his country continues to extend COVID-19 grants to individuals with no other source of income. At the international level, the archbishop serves as the Climate Ambassador popular for successfully mobilizing about 2 million African young people to the Paris COP to advocate for the adoption of the Paris Climate Agreement.