Sunday, May 10, 2009

Botswana to be honoured at international awards ceremony; H.H. the Vice President to accept award

source: Republic of Botswana (9/5/09): TAUTONA TIMES no 13 of 2009
The Weekly Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President
"Democracy, Development, Dignity and Discipline"

C3) 8/5/09: Botswana to be honoured at international awards ceremony; H.H. the Vice President to accept award

H.H. the Vice President, Lt. Gen. Mompati Merafhe, will depart for the USA on Monday where he will be the Guest of Honour at the “2009 Celebrate Africa Grand Gala Awards Dinner.”

Described as "the biggest celebration of Africa" outside of the continent, the high level event annually brings together leading Africans and friends of Africa in an effort to promote a positive global image of the continent and its people. In keeping with this mission, the awards are dedicated to celebrating Africa's achievements and highlighting best practices in good governance, sound management of public resources, respect for human rights and the rule of law; as well as advancing progressive socioeconomic and private sector development throughout the Continent.

The special theme of this year's awards, which will take place at New York University’s landmark Rosenthal Pavilion on May 13th , will be "celebrating the Republic of Botswana" as the "best African country of the year." Botswana is the second country in the history of the awards to be so honoured.

At the request of H.E. the President, H.H. the Vice President will receive the award on behalf of the people of Botswana

According to a spokesperson for the Board of the Celebrate Africa Foundation, the non-profit organization responsible for the event, in selecting Botswana the Board took into consideration the country's adherence to democratic ideals, practice of good governance, record of religious tolerance, promotion of civil rights, contribution to international peace, including collective efforts to curb terrorism, and well earned reputation for transparency in resource management.

This year's ceremony is being co-sponsored by New York University's Africa House, which will also be hosting a special panel discussion by highly recognized academics on "Botswana's Success Story".

A press release from the organizers further notes that: "Because of the prudent management of its resources, Botswana now boasts one of the highest per capital incomes in the whole of Africa. Its former President Festus Mogae won the Mo Ibrahim Award last year for practicing good governance during his years in power."

The awards ceremony will also honour four remarkable visionary leaders for their varied contributions in the award categories of humanitarian, philanthropic, international media ambassador and corporate citizens "in Service of Africa".

The Vice President is expected back home on Saturday 16th May 2009.

More on the Celebrate Africa Foundation:

The Celebrate Africa Foundation is the continental-and Diaspora-wide organization devoted to celebrating Africa and to promoting all things positive about the African continent and its people, while recognizing the problems still facing the continent. Celebrate Africa Foundation believes that until Africa begins to celebrate itself and its achievements, no one else will do it. Another mission of the Celebrate Africa Foundation is that of utilizing all its resources in upgrading Africa’s image throughout the world. Celebrate Africa Foundation believes that Africa is endowed with great history and great people, and it is incumbent upon all those who love Africa to do their best in promoting this great continent.

More on New York University's Africa House

Africa House is an inter-disciplinary institute devoted to the study of contemporary Africa, focusing on Economic, Political and Social issues on the continent as well as on programs in the Arts, and particularly contemporary African Art. New York University has a large number of professors and students doing research in many areas of Economic Development, including in Economic Growth and Macroeconomics, microfinance, analyses of the effectiveness of foreign aid, politics and political economy, law and legal institutions. Africa House hosts a number of high level talks and seminars, and has in the past featured African heads of States. It also holds policy luncheons and smaller discussion groups and research presentations on focused topics. Its programs take place in New York City and in various countries in Africa. Part of Africa House’s core mission is to understand the links between Africa and the rest of the world, through the social, historical, economic and other lenses. Related to this, Africa House also has relationships with African immigrant communities in New York City.

Contacts for awards:

Celebrate Africa Foundation
44 East 32nd Street, 11th Floor
New York, NY 10016

Chika Onyeani: 1-917-279-4308 - E-mail:
Brad Butler: 1-323-461-3923 – email:; Ambassador Ousmane Moutari: 1-646-299-9160 – email: Ted H. Jacobsen: 1-917-703-1357 – email:

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