President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal, co-founder of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), today won the United Nations cultural agency's annual peace prize, chosen by an international jury presided over by former United States Secretary of State and Nobel Peace laureate Henry Kissinger.
"The prize is given to President Abdoulaye Wade for his contribution to democracy in his country and for his mediation in political crises and conflicts in Africa," Mr. Kissinger said in announcing the award of the 2005 Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize sponsored by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Born in 1926 in Saint-Louis du Sénégal, President Wade is a lawyer by training. A former dean of the law faculty of the University of Dakar, he has served as Member of Parliament and, several times, as a Government minister. He was elected to the presidency on March 19, 2000.
The Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize, created in 1989, honours people, organizations and institutions which have contributed significantly to the promotion, research, safeguarding or maintaining of peace, while mindful of the Charter of the United Nations and the constitution of UNESCO. The prize is named after the first president of Côte d'Ivoire.
This is the second time that the prize goes to Africa after it was awarded to Nelson Mandela and Frederik W. De Klerk in 1991. Former laureates also include Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres and Yasser Arafat (1993); and King Juan Carlos of Spain and former US President Jimmy Carter (1994).
The date of the ceremony at which the diploma, medal and 122,000 Euro purse for the 2005 prize will be awarded will be announced in the near future.