President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel after Obama spoke at the Brandenburg Gate on 19 June 2013 in Berlin, Germany. Obama will visit Berlin for the first time since leaving the White House in May and he will speak again at the Brandenburg Gate / Photo: Bundesregierung

Obama to visit Germany, receives Prize

Former US President Barack Obama has been named the winner of the prestigious German Media Prize 2016. The 55-year-old statesman will receive the award personally in Baden-Baden.

Barack Obama is the recipient of the German Media Prize for 2016. This was announced yesterday by the German market research group Media Control, which manages the award. The former US president has accepted to receive the honour in person on 25 May in the south-western city of Baden-Baden.

The award’s jury, consisting of chief editors and media executives, honours President Obama as the outstanding, internationally recognized representative of international policy of the past decade.

The jury said it had become very clear only a few weeks after the end of his term, the eminent role Obama had played for cohesion in the USA and around the world. His “unshakable integrity and his passionate use of public speech were a special kind of exemplary leadership strength, which is already painfully missed,” the jury said in the laudation.

According to the prize’s endower, Karlheinz Kögel, “Barack Obama like no other politician, embodies the vision of a world in which there is hope and change is possible for the better.”

Media Control honours outstanding personalities with the German Media Prize since 1992. Among the prize recipients in the past 25 years are Helmut Kohl, François Mitterrand, Yitzhak Rabin, Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton, Kofi Annan, Bono, Angela Merkel, Sir Richard Branson and George Clooney.

During his visit to Germany and before receiving the Media Prize in Baden Baden, President Obama will take part in a discussion event with Chancellor Angela Merkel on 25 May at the Protestant Kirchentag in Berlin. The conference is part of activities marking the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

According to Germany’s Lutheran Church and organizers of the German Protestant Kirchentag, the conference will take place in front of Berlin’s landmark Brandenburg Gate, where Obama delivered a speech as president in 2013.

Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, Germany’s top Lutheran bishop, said Obama’s participation “underlines how internationally we are celebrating 500 years of the Reformation.” 

Martin Luther’s revolt against Catholic Church practices started in Germany in 1517.

Femi Awoniyi

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