2010 Tutu Fellow Robtel Neajai Pailey was celebrated as one of two winners of the 3rd annual International Anti-Corruption Excellence (ACE) Awards, in the Anti-Corruption Academic Research And Education category. The ceremony took place at the Putrajaya International Convention Center in Malaysia, on December 7th, 2018.
The award was established to shine a light on the fight against corruption across the world. Pailey's position has long been that in the fight against corruption, it is vital to begin educating the next generation as early as possible, and it was part of why she wrote children's books about the subject, Gbagba and Jaadeh. Only eight winners were recognised at the event.
'Gbagba' is a Bassa word which loosely translated, means 'trickery' or, 'corruption'. The books introduce children to the effects of corruption on everyday life, and have been made into short films, performed on stage and even songs. Robtel has spoken at a number of prestigious events on the subject of corruption, including a 2015 TEDx talk on Corruption in Africa, as well as at a number of conferences and seminars across the world. The other winner of the award in her category was Professor Jason Sharman, holder of the Sir Patrick Sheehy professorship in International Relations at the University of Cambridge. His work includes investigations into the corrupt practices used by despots to hide illicit funds, alongside in-depth studies on money laundering and asset recovery. His publications have been reviewed by the Economist, the Financial Times and the Australian Institute of International Affairs, among others.
To celebrate the Award and International Anti-Corruption Day, a twelve-meter sculpture by Ahmed Al Bahrani, a contemporary Iraqi artist and sculptor was unveiled outside the Prime Ministers office in Datarang Putra. The sculpture serves as a bold visual statement against the battle against corruption.