Environmental lawyer Taku Mutezo is Alumnus of the Year 2023

The UG has elected environmental lawyer Taku Mutezo to be their Alumnus of the Year 2023. The Zimbabwean academic specialises in fighting the illegal animal trade.

During the opening ceremony for the new academic year, outgoing rector magnificus Cisca Wijmenga will honour her.

Mutezo (1992) is a preservation advocate, fights wildlife crime on an international level, contributes to relevant legislation, and globally raises awareness of why nature is so important for us, the jury said.

‘She is the epitome of determination and a great role model. Not just in Zimbabwe and Africa, but also in Groningen and the rest of the world.’

International and European Law

Mutezo came to Groningen in 2013 to study international and European law. She graduated in 2017. In Groningen, she worked at the Green Office and was involved in the foundation of the International Student Council. She was also the first ever international student member on the university council.

She uses her legal background to legitimise her work, fight injustices, and hold the people who are destroying our planet accountable, the jury writes. ‘Not through utopian activism, but with facts and measurable data.’

Source of inspiration

Every year, the UG selects a former student to be Alumnus of the Year, someone who ‘has made a significant contribution to society, science, and/or culture, is a source of inspiration, and holds great promise for the future.’

Earlier Alumni of the Year include NOS journalist in Russia Iris de Graaf, pulmonary physician and publicist Sander de Hosson, research journalist Christiaan Triebert, former director at the Rijksmuseum Wim Pijbes, journalist and Russia expert Jelle Brandt Corstius, and Jeroen Smit, who wrote, among other things, De Prooi (about the downfall of ABN/AMRO).


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