Selection process

All individual nominees must be South African citizens and all organisational nominees must be of South African origin. Their activities should not have been wholly funded through the Government of South Africa or solely be as a result of a formal assignment by an organ of the South African Government.


The selection is a three-phase process comprising:

The call for nominations opens annually on the last day of November and is publicised through the general media and DIRCO’s social media platforms.


Nominations are made by completing an entry form with the option to submit additional supporting material.


The call for nominations excludes the OR. Tambo Lifetime Achievement Award as this award is granted at the discretion of the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation.


Nominations are submitted through email to the following address:

The adjudication is conducted through deliberations by the DIRCO Ubuntu Awards Adjudication Committee comprising of judges from the Diplomatic Corps, senior government officials, thought leaders and influencers from business, academia and civil society.

A short-list of up to three candidates for each category will be presented to the panel of judges and the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, who will approve the final list of award recipients.

All nominations submitted for the Ubuntu Awards should meet the following criteria:


  • creating a favourable image for South Africa
  • engaging with, and influencing the international public
  • making a sustainable and enduring impact
  • embodying the values of Integrity, Passion, Patriotism and Humility
  • celebrating and promoting African unity and diversity.