Borussia Dortmund and Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang beat Cote d’ivioir’s Yaya Toure and Ghanaian forward Andre Dede Ayew to win the African Football’s player of the year award. He becomes the first player from Gabon to win the award. His emergence as the winner of the award end Toure’s four-year dominance from 2011 to 2014.
The award which was won on votes saw the Gabonese earn 143 points, Yaya Toure who was the first runner up earned 136 points and Swansea City’s midfield man Ayew came third with 112 points.
The blissful awards night also witnessed top performers on the continent awarded in various categories. Herve Renard, who led the Elephants of the Cote d’Ivoire to glory at the African Cup of Nation in Equatorial Guinea won the coach of the year award. Renard has won the Cup of Nations twice, first with Zambia in 2012 and the Cote d’Ivoire in 2015.
It came as no surprise when African champions ‘Les Elephants’ of Cote d’Ivoire were announced as Men’s National Team of the Year. For the Woman’s National Team of the Year, Cameroon came tops to win the award. The Referee of the Year award was on the same night awarded to Papa Bakary Gassama
Another prestigious award on the night was for the African Player of the Year based in Africa. Tanzanian and TP Mazembe’s Mbwene Aly Samatta won the award. He becomes the first from Eastern African to have emerged as a winner in this category. This award honours the best player who plays on the African continent.
Samatta beat his teammate and DR Congo shot stopper Robert Muteba Kidiaba and Algerian Baghdad Bounedjah to the award. Samatta had 127 votes, Kidiaba earned 88 votes whiles Bounedjah had 63 votes.
Gaelle Enganamout from Cameroon went home with the Woman’s Player of the Year award, she is the first from her country to have won the award.
Nigeria were made proud after the Youth Player of the Year Award went to Nigerian youngster Victor Osimeh and Etebo Peter Oghenekaro – Most Promising Talent of the Year.
CAF honoured two legends on the night. Arguably the most successful coach in the African Cup of Nation, Ghanaian Charles Kumi Gyamfi and Cameroonian Samuel Mbappe Leppe were honoured in the African Legend category. The son of Gyamfi picked the award on behalf of his late father.
Below is a full list of award winners;
AFRICAN PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Pierre-Emerick AUBAMEYANG (Gabon)
AFRICAN PLAYER OF THE YEAR – BASED IN AFRICA – Mbwana Aly SAMATTA
WOMEN’S PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Gaelle ENGANAMOUIT (Cameroon)
YOUTH PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Victor OSIMHEN (Nigeria)
MOST PROMISING TALENT OF THE YEAR – Etebo Peter OGHENEKARO (Nigeria)
COACH OF THE YEAR – Herve RENARD (France) – Former Coach of Cote d’Ivoire
REFEREE OF THE YEAR – Bakary Papa GASSAMA (Gambia)
NATIONAL TEAM OF THE YEAR – Cote d’Ivoire
WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM OF THE YEAR – Cameroon
CLUB OF THE YEAR – TP Mazembe (DR Congo)
Charles Kumi GYAMFI (Ghana)
Samuel MBAPPE LEPPE (Cameroon)
AFRICA FINEST XI
Goalkeeper: Robert Muteba KIDIABA (DR Congo)
Defenders: Serge AURIER (Cote d’Ivoire), Aymen ABDENNOUR (Tunisia), Mohamed MEFTAH (Algeria)
Midfielders: Andre AYEW (Ghana), Yaya TOURE (Cote d’Ivoire), Sadio MANE (Senegal), Yacine BRAHIMI (Algeria),
Forwards: Mbwana Aly SAMATTA (Tanzania), Pierre-Emerrick AUBAMEYANG (Gabon), Baghdad BOUNEDJAH (Algeria)
Djigui DIARRA (Mali)
Azubuike OKECHUKWU (Nigeria)
Kelechi NWAKALI (Nigeria)
Zinedine FERHAT (Algeria)
Adama TRAORE (Mali)
Victor OSIMHEN (Nigeria)
Kermit ERASMUS (South Africa)