During the occasion, President Paul Kagame told the awardees that they collectively represent the very best of the fearless spirit and determination required to sustain zero tolerance against corruption.
Four categories of the ACE Award were presented in recognition of the diverse efforts and areas of excellence in the global fight against corruption.
Kenneth Kaunda, the founding President of Zambia, received the Lifetime and Outstanding award. His youngest daughter received the award on his behalf.
In 1964, Kaunda became the first President of the newly independent Zambia and fought his entire public career to ensure good governance, and to uphold the rights of people regardless of their nationality or background.
Maria Krambia-Kapardis was given the Academic Research and Education award for her work that includes two decades of anti-corruption work; including serving as the Corruption Local Research Correspondent for the European Commission.
She has widely published reports, books and papers on the subject, and she is the founder and first Chair of Transparency International-Cyprus.
Her research includes fraud detection, anti-corruption, corporate responsibility, corporate governance, and gender issues in business and ethics.
Alban Koçi, a law professor at the University of Tirana, in Albania also received the award in the category of Academic Research and Education. He is responsible for anti-corruption programs.
These programmes include mock trials and awareness programmes focusing on combating corruption.
The Youth Creativity and Engagement went to Jean Jacques Lumumba for his anti-corruption work in the Democratic Republic of Congo, starting with his work as a whistleblower whilst serving as an executive at a major bank embroiled in a misappropriations scandal.
Jeunesses Musicales International (JMI) from Belgium, the world’s largest youth musical non-profit, also received the same award. The organisation is renowned for ‘Fair Play’, a global competition bringing artistes with music that condemn corruption.
Elnura Alkanova, an independent investigative journalist, received the Innovation Award. She has authored a number of stories that expose corruption in Kyrgyzstan.
SEMA Innovation an organization from Tanzania, received a similar award. The organization gathers citizen voices to improve public services.
Previous awards took place in Vienna (2016), Geneva (2017) and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2018).