The German Africa Award 2002 was awarded to the Ugandan Olara A. Otunnu, who was honoured for his activities as UN Special Representative for Children in War Situations. His primary task was to sensitise the international public to the concerns of those affected and to ensure their social reintegration after the end of armed conflict.
During his education Otunnu attended Gulu High School and King’s College in Budo. Later he transferred to the Makerere University in Kampala and got a scholarship to study in Oxford and Harvard. Afterwards he worked as a lawyer in New York. In the 1970s, Otunnu played a leading role in the resistance against Idi Amin’s regime as President of the Makerere Student’s Union and later as Secretary General of the Uganda Freedom Union. After the fall of President Amin, he was involved in the transitional government from 1979 to 1980 and then served for five years as Ambassador to the United Nations in New York, holding various positions.
Upon his return in 1985, he was appointed Foreign Minister of Uganda and was involved in the country’s peace efforts. Shortly afterwards he retired from politics and returned to his academic career.
The award was presented by the German Federal President Dr Johannes Rau.