The first winner of the German Africa Award was the Togolese Maître Yawovi Agboyibo. He studied law and economics at the University of Dakar, where he received his diploma in private law. After he completed his studies, he practiced law in Lomé. A few years later, he became president of the city’s Bar Association and at the same time, Head of the National Commission for Human Rights.
However, Agboyibo was already politically involved before: In 1985, he was elected to the National Assembly and after his re-election in 1990, he founded the moderate opposition party Comité d’Action pour le Renouveau. In the following year, he became chairman of the party, and another twelve months later, he again became a member of the transitional parliament. Through his constant commitment to human rights and democracy, Agboyibo has significantly contributed to the improvement of human rights issues and democracy in Togo.
The award was presented by Federal President Richard von Weizsäcker.