One Young World is thrilled to announce the five winners of the One Young World Politician of the Year 2019 Award
The award was established last year to celebrate the most impressive and impactful politicians aged 35 and under. The 2019 shortlist exemplifies the outstanding achievements of young leaders who have infiltrated the old guard of politics worldwide.
From that list of 20 exceptional politicians, the expert judging panel have selected five honourees, who will be presented with the awards at the OYW Summit 2019 in London, 22-25 October.
Juan Guaidó is the President of the National Assembly of Venezuela. In January 2019, in the aftermath of the disputed re-election of Nicolas Maduro, he took on the role of Acting President per Article 233 of the Constitution. Over fifty nations recognise Guaidó as the country’s legitimate President. He has rallied public protests against the incumbent regime and called for Maduro's removal from office. Guaidó has remained adamant on the need to establish a transitional government, calling for free and fair elections. He is a co-founder of the Popular Will party and has represented the state of Vargas in the National Assembly since 2015.
Mbali Ntuli has served as the Provincial Campaigns Director for Kwazulu-Natal since 2018. Her former roles include DA Youth Chairperson, a councillor for the community of Inanda in the eThekwini Municipality, DA Youth Federal Leader, and member of KwaZulu-Natal legislature from 2014-18. During her political life, she has combated gender inequality and sexism in political field and challenges facing KZN's Education Department. She has played a significant role in helping the Democratic Alliance grow its political base beyond its traditional strongholds. Ntuli also sits on the party's provincial committee for cooperative governance and traditional affairs.
Thórdís Kolbrún R. Gylfadóttir, is simultaneously Iceland’s Minister for Tourism, Industries and Innovation and the Minister of Justice. In January 2017, she became the second youngest individual to become Minister in Iceland and the country’s youngest ever female Minister. In 2018 she was elected vice-chairman of the Independence Party, Iceland’s largest political party. Thórdis accepted the post of Minister when her second child was only 3 months old, and has continued to raise her young family throughout her political ascendancy. This has helped move forward narratives surrounding working mothers in Iceland and abroad.
Born in Rwanda, Hervé Berville was adopted by a French family in 1994, during the genocide against the Tutsi. At 27, he became one of the youngest members of the French National Assembly. He currently serves as Spokesperson for La Republique En Marche, and is responsible for the Overseas Development and Fight Against Global Inequalities Act. Berville has spoken in favour of a substantial increase to overseas spending on education and training for youth in Africa's poorest regions. He has advocated against populism and race and gender discrimination. In his constituency, he focuses on fostering access to local public services for youth and disadvantaged people, particularly in rural areas.
Magid Magid is a British-Somali activist who became the youngest, the first from a Somali background, and the first Green Party councillor to serve as the Lord Mayor of Sheffield. Subsequently, he has been elected as the first Green Party MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber. Throughout his career, Magid has made waves for his creative, personality-driven methods of campaigning and engaging with people. He is an anti-racist environmental campaigner championing the power of youth-driven activism. He has worked to establish strong partnerships between the students and residents living in his ward and advocated for protecting conservation areas and tackling air pollution. He has also expressed support for greater devolution, free university education, and an end to private finance initiatives.
Messages from the Judges
Mo Ibrahim (Chair and Founder of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation): "Young people are not the future. They are our immediate present. We need to highlight and celebrate those who dare to step out to build their own prospects and embrace ownership, responsibility and accountability, whether at local, national or global level.”
Ilia Calderon (Co-anchor of Noticiero Univision & Co-host of Aquí y Ahora): "One of the most powerful ways to drive societal change is through government, but long-term change will not happen if young people are left outside the rooms where decisions are made. This award is to highlight the work of young leaders changing the face of politics and fighting to make the world a better place.”
Lindiwe Mazibuko (Co-Founder of Apolitical Academy): “The One Young World Politician of the Year Award provides much deserved recognition to the influential work of young leaders in politics, all over the world. The next generation need to see that they can make a difference in their communities, and this shortlist of young politicians are the ideal role models.”
Tawakkol Karman (President of Women Journalists Without Chains organisation & Nobel Peace Laureate 2011): “The world has rarely faced more significant challenges, and yet politics remains deeply divided. Young leaders in all countries must take the initiative to address this predicament, and the One Young World Politician of the Year Award seeks to celebrate the young politicians who are doing just that.”
Jan Peter Balkenende (former Prime Minister of the Netherlands): "Governments around the world are in dire need of young leaders to reinvigorate politics, engage with society, and provide a fresh perspective on the challenges which face our communities."
Mary Robinson (Chair of the Mary Robinson Foundation for Climate Justice): “The world of politics is at risk of leaving an entire generation behind. Politics should be a realistic and attractive vocation for young women and men, and this award honours a host of leaders who are paving the way for future generations.”