Twenty three year old Neurite Mendes from Angola on Sunday emerged winner of the maiden edition of Miss Africa beauty pageant organised by the Cross River State government. The maiden edition of the beauty pageant with the theme, “Green Economy, a tool for Sustainable Development’’ took place at the Calabar International Conference Centre (CICC) in Cross River.
Neurite Mendes defeated 17 other contestants, carting home a Sport Utility Vehicle and a cash prize of 25,000 dollars.
Refilwe Mthimunye of South Africa was the first runner-up while Jencey Anwifoje of Cameroon was the second runner-up.
They carted home 15,000 and 10,000 dollars respectively.
The event made box office record with over 365 million people watching it on television.
Nollywood stars including Kate Henshaw, Juliet Ibrahim and Uti Nwachukwu were selected as host and judges while 30 beauty queens, representing 30 African countries including Nigeria, competed for the star prize.
On arrival, the Queens spent two nights at the Obudu Mountain Resort and participated in the second Dry Run for the 2016 Carnival Calabar.
Cross River State governor and initiator of the pageant, Prof Ben Ayade, stressed the need for Africans to go beyond culture and tourism by deepening their knowledge of science and technology.
His words: “This Africa beauty pageant is a journey to climate change which today is a big challenge globally. That is why Cross River State people knowing full well that we hold 58 percent of the entire forest map of Nigeria and by extension Africa, made the choice of the theme which is, “Green economy, a tool for sustainable development” for the world to know that Africa generates less emissions yet bears the brunt of industrialization.”