On 19 November 2015 in Berlin, trade union leader Houcine Abassi was honoured with the German Africa Award 2015 “for his outstanding role in resolving the political crisis following the Tunisian revolution”. The award was presented by Federal President Joachim Gauck in the Historic Treasury Hall of the KfW Banking Group. In his laudatory speech, the Federal President emphasised that there is a need for as many more people as Houcine Abassi, “men and women who focus on dialogue and compromise – not on dictatorship and weapons”.
Houcine Abassi is considered the father of national dialogue. Through his persistent efforts to solve the political crisis following the 2010/2011 revolution, he has become a peacemaker. According to Jury President Dr Volker Faigle, this year’s jury of the German Africa Award was deeply impressed by Abassi’s extraordinary ability to initiate a dialogue that led to acceptable and sustainable compromises through the high art of listening without ambitions for political office.