Malian Artist, Daouda Traore wins the 2022 Kuenyehia Prize for Contemporary Art


Daouda Traore emerges as the winner of the 6th Edition of the Kuenyehia Prize for Contemporary Art. The winner was presented with a $5000 cash prize by the Paramount Chief of Essikado Traditional Area, Nana Kobina Nketsia IV at an exhibition and awards ceremony at The Mix Design Hub in Accra.

A further $3000 was awarded to Odinakachi Okoroafor, a Nigerian mixed-media artist who emerged as the first runner-up, and Dela Anyah, a self-taught textile artist from Ghana, who emerged as the second runner-up, was awarded $2000.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, the founder of the Contemporary Arts Prize, Professor Elikem Nutifafa Kuenyehia, congratulated the artists who participated in the competition.

I couldn’t have anticipated the massive explosion of interest globally in Ghanaian and African art. Our alumni of artists have been successful and influential, and I couldn’t have anticipated the heart-warming stories about the impact our work is making, he said.

Prof. Elikem further stated that it was quite disheartening how visual art had become the stepchild of the Ghanaian creative economy despite its massive economic potential. It is truly a tragedy that a sector that will undoubtedly contribute significantly to the economy if nurtured properly has been effectively decimated. Art is big business and people make fortunes all the art value chain, he stated.

Mr. Abdourahamane Diallo, UNESCO Country Representative in Ghana, lauded the initiative from Prof. Elikem to celebrate artists from West Africa. According to him, more of these contemporary art prizes were needed to encourage our artists and grow the art industry, which had many opportunities for Ghana and Africa at large. 

The arts industry is gradually developing, and we have more Africans who are appreciating and recognizing the value of our local creative sector. This falls within the mandate of UNESCO to promote the arts and support the art industry on the continent, and I am glad to announce that we will support this initiative”,  he said.

The shortlisted finalists were Abigail Aba Otoo (Dr.), Ghana, David Alabo, Ghana, John Larris Kabre, Burkina Faso, Ibrahim Afegbua, Nigeria, Daouda Traore, Mali, Halimatu Iddrisu, Ghana, Helena Sackey, Ghana, Odinakachi Okoroafor, Nigeria, Ambeke Yewande Patricia, Nigeria, Dela Anyah, Ghana, Jeffrey Otoo, Ghana, Kwaku Osei Owusu Achim, Ghana


Founded in 2014, The Kuenyehia Prize identifies and rewards West Africa’s most outstanding artists. Winners and runners-up benefit from prize money, tools to enhance their practice and exposure through the network of the Kuenyehia Trust. The prominence that the Prize gives to its artists provides them with an accelerated boost in their careers, direct financial gain and opportunities both locally and internationally.

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