Nairobi, May 2016 — Seychelles’ founding President Sir James Mancham is the latest recipient of the Africa Peace Award of United Religious Peace Initiatives-Africa.
Mancham, who left politics in 2005, was recognized for “his work in promoting a culture of peace, inter-religious and inter-cultural harmony, and constructive dialogue among civilizations, reconciliation, social justice, good leadership, and for his visionary and extraordinary leadership in building the image of Africa globally and for being a spokesperson for the interest of Africa at international platform as a former African President”, according to Ambassador Mussie Hailu, of the URI-Africa.
Previous recipients include two other former heads of state, Goodluck Jonathan (Nigeria) and Girma Wolde-Giorgis (Ethiopia); Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Rotary International, Mother Theresa’s Missionaries of Charity, World Public Forum and two UN agencies.
Mancham’s presidency of the Seychelles ended in 1977 in a coup mounted by his prime minister, France Albert Rene, which forced him to live in exile till 1992 when he returned to head the Democratic Party. In 2005 he quit politics and took up peace and reconciliation advocacy.
The former president received the award at a ceremony at Intercontinental Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya, during the launch of a Joint Leadership Programme between Common Purpose and World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid.
URI Africa, with a membership of 182 organizations from 31 African countries, established the Peace Award to recognize leadership that promotes sustainable peace, environmental protection, development, democracy and good leadership on the continent. It celebrates the leadership accomplishments of both individuals and organizations.
Ambassador Mussie Hailu is URI’s Regional Director for Africa and its representative at the African Union Commission, Inter-Governmental Authority for Development, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and United Nations Office in Nairobi.
The organization maintains a memorandum of understanding with the African Media Initiative.