The 2017 round received over 400 nominations from across the world, with Nigeria having about 60 nominations. It is a great feat for the 8 young leaders to have emerged among the 40 winners for this year. Among the winners is Aanu’ Rotimi, the Senior Program Officer, Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria (HERFON) – Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health (PACFaH), was announced among the outstanding leaders. The announcement was made on September 12, 2017, the 2nd day of the 5th annual family planning consultative stakeholders meeting.
With renewed commitment from stakeholders to increase family planning or child spacing as means of reducing maternal mortality, attainment of the sustainable developments goal, it is expected that new winners will deliver more.
Aanu’ Rotimi on her 120under40 website page said she will dedicate the win to family planning education as a means of achieving economic development, universal health coverage and the sustainable development goals.
While Adebisi Adelakun the only male Nigerian winner is committed to maximize the platform to engage with rural men in family planning advocacy towards improving family planning uptake.
The 40 winners for 2017 were chosen through public online voting, scoring by a jury of experts and leaders in family planning, and the project secretariat. The winners each receive $1,000 from the Gates Institute to continue their work in family planning.
“This second group of winners is as outstanding as the first,” says Jose “Oying” Rimon II, Director of the Gates Institute and chair of the 120 Under 40 Jury. “These young leaders are creating positive disruptions all over the world, and their impact will only grow stronger as they forge a new network with their fellow 120 Under 40 winners.”
A smaller representative group of winners have been invited to attend the 120 Under 40 celebrations in the United States from September 18 to 22. These celebrations, which coincide with the United Nations General Assembly meetings in New York, will include training in advocacy and leadership, meetings with influential leaders, and opportunities for the winners to share personal stories about their dedication to family planning and reproductive health. The activities will be co-hosted in Baltimore, Washington DC, and New York City by the Gates Institute, Bayer, Population Council and Family Planning 2020 (FP2020).
120 Under 40 recognizes and galvanizes the accomplished and inspiring young people under 40 who are making a difference in family planning and reproductive health worldwide.
120 Under 40 shines a light on the “positive disruptions” made by young leaders in family planning, enabling others to model their behaviors and build on their success. The project’s international profile increases awareness of family planning as critical to young people’s health and wellbeing and essential to sustainable global development goals.
The next round of the award will be in 2019, so that a roster of 120 outstanding young leaders will be assembled by 2020—the year by which the Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) partnership aims to enable 120 million additional women and girls to access high-quality, voluntary contraception.