Guinean activist Miguel de Barros was considered the most influential personality of the year 2018 by the Confederation of West African Youth (CWAY) and is expected to receive the award at the end of March in Togo, according to the note of distinction.
Lusa had access to the letter of distinction of Miguel de Barros, a 39-year-old sociologist, who is referred to as "someone who celebrates many achievements as a model for young leaders" in West Africa.
"This award recognizes his integrity and perseverance as a personality with a strategic and progressive vision, with measurable achievements in the area of leadership and socio-economic development in West Africa and beyond," reads the letter.
On March 30, Miguel de Barros will receive the prize under the "New Leaders, New Africa" forum, co-organized by the Confederation of West African Youths (CWAY) and the Organisation of African Youth.
The letter of distinction to Miguel de Barros states that half of the African population is under 40 years of age, yet, despite forming the majority of voters, young people have yet to take positions of power.
The organizers of the forum understand that the African continent needs to reduce the legal age to allow young people to compete for leadership positions in their respective countries.
Only in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) it is estimated that there are 200 million young people. The forum, to be held in Lomé, Togo's capital, will discuss the true place of young people on the African continent.
Last November, Miguel de Barros won the Pan-African Humanitarian Award for Excellence in Research and Social Impact and received a prize in a ceremony held in Morocco.
Miguel de Barros holds a postgraduate degree in sociology and planning from ISCTE in Portugal, of which he is an associate researcher at the Center for African Studies, he is a researcher at the National Research Institute (INEP) in Guinea-Bissau and also a member of the Council for Development of Social Sciences Research in Africa - CODESRIA.
He has been developing research and publishing in international scientific journals in the fields of youth, volunteering, civil society, media, human rights, community governance, food safety, migrations, fairs, literature and rap music.
Currently, Miguel de Barros is the executive director of the Tiniguena NGO, which stands out in the fields of promotion, preservation and conservation of the environment in Guinea-Bissau.
He is also the founder of Corubal, a cooperative for the production and dissemination of scientific and cultural works in Guinea-Bissau.