The Mary Chirwa Award for Courageous Leadership

(fltr H.R.H. Prince Carlos de Bourbon de Parme, Mary Chirwa, Father Antonios and his wife, Stamatia Georganti)

(Photo by Bibi Veth)

The Award: Recognising Courageous Leadership

The Mary Chirwa Award Foundation, together with Nudge, presents this important award in honour of Ms. Mary Chirwa Director General of the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) in Zambia, who is bravely fighting corruption in the country under difficult circumstances.

In her name, we want to recognise individuals who have proven Courageous Leadership in fields related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and who are not yet known internationally.

The first ever Mary Chirwa Award was handed out on 22 October 2019 during the Nudge Global Impact Awards at the Peace Palace in The Hague the international institution for peace and justice!


How to nominate

Evaluation criteria

  • A proven record of courageous leadership in 2019/2020, in a field related to one or more of the Sustainable Development Goal(s).
  • A clear aspiration to make the world a better place.
  • Must not be a celebrity or a well-known public figure.
  • You may not nominate yourself.

What do we mean by ‘Courageous Leader’?

An individual who has shown integrity and fearlessness and acted on, or initiated a movement, to bravely face a challenge related to the achievement of one or more of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Value of the Award

The following will be granted to the 2020 Mary Chirwa Award laureate:

  • A cheque of US$5,000 that should be used to fund a cause related to the field the awardee is recognised for.
  • Recognition from our Mary Chirwa Award Committee
  • Invitation to the Nudge Global Impact Awards ceremony at the Peace Palace in The Hague, the Netherlands. Keynote speakers, CEOs and sustainability leaders from all over the world will attend.

Who is Mary Chirwa?

Mary Chirwa is the Director General of the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) in Zambia, a government agency responsible for regulating financial crime. Mary Chirwa was a guest of honour at the Nudge Global Impact Awards 2018. She wowed us with her brave dedication to the fight against corruption, money laundering and terrorism financing in Zambia under difficult circumstances.

Watch the official announcement of the Mary Chirwa Award below.

The ten nominees from 2019

Father Antonios Papanikolaou
Priest/Humanitarian, Greece

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Bob Rugurika
Investigative Journalist, Burundi/Rwanda

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Deborah Mutemwa- Tumbo
Attorney, South Africa

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Fumba Chama
Governance Activist, Zambia

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Luisa Diogo
Former Prime Minister of Mozambique

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Mark van Baal
Founder of Follow This (Green Activist Shareholders in Big Oil), the Netherlands

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Melanie Gouby
Journalist, France

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Murtaza Jaffer
President of the Bilal Relief Program and Bilal Muslim Mission of Kenya, Kenya

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Pamela Adie
Gender Equality Advocate, Nigeria

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Robtel Neajai Pailey
Academic, Liberia

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mary chirwa

Ms. Mary Chirwa reacting to the announcement of the Award in her honour at the Nudge Global Impact Awards 2018

Important Dates

Nominations deadline

15 September 2020 before 12 midnight CET

Award Committee’s decision

1 October 2020

Winner announcement

21 October 2020 at the Peace Palace in The Hague, the Netherlands

Nudge looks forward to awarding the Mary Chirwa Award at its 11th annual

Nudge Global Impact Awards in October 2020

Mary Chirwa 2019 Award Committee

H.R.H. Prince Carlos de Bourbon de Parme

Head of the House of Bourbon-Parma, member of the Dutch Royal Family, Director of the Compazz Foundation

George Papandreou

Former Prime Minister of Greece 2009-2011, MP for the Movement for Change alliance

Jeff Furman

Former Chair of the Board at Ben&Jerry’s

Frans Geraedts

Director at Governance and Integrity Nederland

Mary Chirwa

Director General of the Financial Intelligence (FIC) Center in Zambia

For more information about the Mary Chirwa Foundation, please download this Beleidsplan.

The board members of the Mary Chirwa Award foundation are: Marlon Sahetapy (treasurer), Joris Alberdingk Thijm (secretary) en Jan van Betten (chairman).