The 2015 Millennium Excellence awards are all about rewarding Ghanaians who demonstrate leadership, inspiration, innovation and success in furthering the country’s development.

At this year’s event, @eonwona and @selasekove took a look at 15 categories being recognized to introduce you to just some of Ghana’s next generation of leaders, influencers and innovators.


Name: Martha Bissah
Category: Sports
Notables: Born August 24, 1997, Bissah was the youngest laureate honored this year. She won the 800m final at the 2014 Youth Olympics held in Nanjing, China, making her the first Ghanaian to win an Olympic gold medal at any level.

Name: Francis Nii Yartey
Category: Arts, Tradition & Culture
Notables: Since 1976, Yartey has dedicated his career to the development of dance theatre and contemporary African dance in Ghana. He is currently an associate professor of Performing Arts at the University of Ghana.

Name: Action for Rural Education
Category: Rural and Urban Development
Notables: Action for Rural Education (ARE) is an NGO operating in rural Ghana. It has contributed to raising the quality of teaching and learning in schools, improving healthcare and championing access to education for young girls.

Name: Emmanuel Ofori-Ababio
Category: Inspiration, Motivation and Leadership
Notables: As an entrepreneur and chief executive of PMD Company Ltd., Ofori-Ababio works on making basic healthcare more accessible to the underprivileged. He’s also known for his motivational talks held in schools across the country.

Name: Danida
Category: International Development Partner
Notables: Since 1990, Danida has developed and implemented more than 40 initiatives to strengthen political alliances, improve local economies and create job opportunities in Denmark and Ghana.

Name: Seth Osafo
Category: Climate and Environmental Change
Notables: For 45 years, Osafo has dedicated his career to ending climate change by serving as a legal consultant for several international development organizations. He currently works with African Development Bank, providing legal advice to African negotiators at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Name: Samuel Dapaah
Category:
Agriculture and Food Sustainability Development 
Notables: 
Dapaah was awarded for his career in service as a senior advisor to 5 different ministers of Food and Agriculture in Ghana’s history.

Name: Seth  Kofi Akyea Danso
Category: Agriculture and Food Sustainability Development 
Notables:
The late Professor Seth Kofi Danso was the Director of the Ecological Laboratory Project, a joint initiative between the University of Copenhagen and the University of Ghana. In this position, Danso established the West African Journal of Applied Ecology, which continues to be published today.

Name: Osei Kwame Despite
Category: Entrepreneurship
Notables: Osei Kwame is a petty trader turned radio & communications guru, running the Despite Group of companies. He set up Peace FM radio station in 1999 becoming one of the nation’s most appreciated Akan-speaking broadcasters.

Name: Autism Awareness Care and Training Centre
Category: Education
Notables: In a country where children with autism are marginalized, Serwaa Quaynor took a bold step in 1998 and founded the Autism Awareness Care and Training Centre (AACT). The institution offers educational programs, life skills training, music and art therapy for children, families and caregivers affected by Autism. As the mother of an autistic child, Quaynor said she wants to see children like her son function more efficiently in Ghanaian society.

Name: Victor P.Y. Gadzekpo
Category: Science and Mathematics
Notables: Professor Gadzekpo’s contributions to scientific research and math span beyond Ghana. In 1984 he published a new method for ‘Determination of Selectivity Co-efficient’ and later, his method was adopted by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry and is now used throughout the world.

Name: Moses Baiden
Category: Inventions and Innovations
Notables: Baiden is the founder of Margins Group of Companies, an LLC specializing in identity management and ensuring secure transactions. The company which was Baiden founded before graduating law school, is now run in 7 different countries.

Name: Kofi Anyidoho
Category: Literature
Notables: Anyidoho is an associate professor of English Literature and the Director of the School of Performing Arts at the University of Ghana. Professor Anyidoho has followed his family’s tradition of writing and reciting poetry that looks at Ghana’s political, social and cultural structures. Anyidoho said he sees poetry as performance and often includes music and dance, encouraging audience participation during the reading of his works. He won the BBC ‘Arts and Africa’ poetry award in 1981 and was also once named Ghana’s ‘Poet of the Year’.

Name: James Ebo Whyte
Category: Literature
Notables: Uncle Ebo Whyte, as most Ghanaians call him, is an award-winning playwright and motivational speaker. He has written and directed over 20 plays, all of containing thought-provoking messages that offer a glimpse into the socio-political lives of Ghanaians.

Name: Joseph Bediako Asare
Category: Medicine
Notables: Dr. J.B. Asare has dedicated his career to improving psychiatric services and facilities in the country and keeping mental health on the government’s agenda. Dr. Asare worked as the medical superintendent of the Accra Psychiatric Hospital until 2004 and now teaches psychiatry at the University for Development Studies.

Name: Kwaku Ohene-Frimpong
Category: Medicine
Notables: Dr. Ohene-Frimpong is the Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, an attending hematologist at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and President of the Sickle Cell Foundation of Ghana. He has also set up a clinic that provides medical support and advice to sickle cell patients like himself.

Name: Anas Aremeyaw Anas
Category: Democratic Governance
Notables: Known as the nation’s most respected investigative journalist, Anas uses anonymity as a tool to expose corruption and injustice while supporting human rights. His multimedia productions have won more than 14 international awards and his most recent documentary, ‘Ghana in the Eyes of God’, has led to the expulsion of 20 of the country’s judges.

Name: David & Brenda Mensah
Category: Peace
Notables: David, a Ghanaian, and Brenda, a Canadian, are the directors at the Northern Empowerment Association (NEA). Through a range of development programs, the Mensahs have significantly contributed to the alleviation of poverty in some of Northern Ghana’s most remote and impoverished towns.