President Barack Obama and Dr. Mo Ibrahim Recognized for Contributions to Improve Quality of Life in Sub-Saharan Africa
WASHINGTON, DC – Africare, the oldest and largest African-American led non-profit committed to advancing development in Africa, hosted more than 1,000 global leaders in government, business and international development on Friday, April 20th at its annual Bishop John T. Walker Memorial Dinner and fundraiser at the Hilton Washington Hotel in Washington, D.C. The gala honored President Barack Obama and Dr. Mo Ibrahim for their outstanding accomplishments and life-changing impacts in Africa.
“President Obama and Dr. Ibrahim have both played critical roles in helping to improve the quality of life in Africa,” said Darius Mans, President, Africare. “Their contributions, along with the consistent support of our sponsors and donors, are helping to provide underserved communities in every major region of Sub-Saharan Africa with access to food, technology, healthcare and more opportunity. We celebrate our progress to date, and eagerly look forward to making an even greater impact on the continent in years to come.”
President Obama was recognized for providing funds through his Nobel Peace Prize award to support the development of Africare’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Health (WASHH) Project in the Wasa Amenfi West District of Ghana, which not only improved access to clean water, but also implemented sustainable strategies for the continuation of healthy environmental water practices. President Obama’s generous contribution and support has also reinforced Ghana’s initiatives to meet their Millennium Development Goal for water by 2015.
White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough accepted the award on President Obama’s behalf.
President Barack Obama provided his acceptance via video.
“Tonight we gather to honor those who are building a better future for the people of Africa; to reflect on the progress that we’ve made; and to celebrate the legacy of Bishop Walker, a true humanitarian in every sense of that word,” McDonough said. “If we continue to encourage the forces of progress and reform, of freedom and opportunity, the people of Africa will realize a bright and prosperous future and the people of the United States will be safer and more prosperous as well. So thank you for everything that you do to promote democracy, development and peace in Africa. You have a committed partner in President Obama and the United States and we look forward to continuing our work together to open new avenues of partnership and redouble our support for the aspirations of people across the continent.”
Africare also presented Dr. Ibrahim, a renowned entrepreneur and philanthropist, with the 2013 Bishop John T. Walker Leadership Award for his work to improve leadership in Africa through The Mo Ibrahim Foundation. Dr. Ibrahim also established the Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, which recognizes heads of state who demonstrate economic and social development and encourages and current leaders to practice better governance.
“I’m really humbled and so grateful for Africare’s kindness,” Ibrahim said during his remarks. “Africa is moving forward – there’s no question about that. It doesn’t mean we are there yet. We see a great rise in the African servant society, mainly from young people and women. These two forces, I believe, are what will change Africa.”
The Africare Bishop John T. Walker Memorial Dinner is held each year in memory of Bishop John T. Walker, the first African-American Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, D.C. and Africare's longtime Board Chair. Bishop Walker distinguished himself as an exemplar of peace, justice and interracial harmony. The dinner plays an important role in enabling Africare to both broaden awareness about its work in Africa and to raise critically needed funds to deliver life-saving services. This year's dinner is made possible by the generosity of Chevron, ExxonMobil and The Coca-Cola Company, as well as many others from the business community.
Past recipients of the Bishop John T. Walker Leadership Award include former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva who received an award in 2011 for the countless contributions in trade, investment and diplomatic relations between Brazil and Africa.
Africare is a leading non-governmental organization (NGO) committed to addressing African development and policy issues by working in partnership with African people to build sustainable, healthy and productive communities. Since 1970, Africare has provided well over $1 billion of assistance and support through more than 2,500 projects in Agriculture & Food Security; Water, Sanitation & Hygiene; Women’s Empowerment; and Health, HIV & AIDS that have impacted millions of beneficiaries in 36 countries in Africa. Visit http://www.africare.org for more information.
Photos: Stuart A. Watson Photography
Source: Press release/Africare