On February 9, 1200 guests from around the world honored the recipients of the third Sunhak Peace Prize. This year, the prize was awarded based on the theme “Peace and Human Development in Africa.” Dr. Il Sik Hong, chairman of the Sunhak Peace Prize Committee, expressed his sincere admiration of the laureates, who dedicated their lives to protecting the most vulnerable people in Africa and the world.
Laureate Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank, has promoted a vision of good governance for African nations, implementing innovative agricultural and anticorruption policies in Nigeria and all across Africa. Laureate Waris Dirie has improved the rights of millions of girls and women by leading a campaign to eradicate female genital mutilation. Moving video presentations highlighted the achievements and visions of the recipients.
Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn, president of the World Food Prize Foundation, congratulated Dr Adesina, saying that the single greatest challenge we are confronting today is to nutritiously and sustainably feed the 9 to 10 billion people who will be on Earth by the year 2050. The greatest challenge will ultimately be decided in Africa, he said. Can a peaceful Africa feed itself? At one African Investment Conference which he organized, he said, Dr. Adesina mesmerized the attendees by his answer, “Yes, Africa can!”
H.E. Syenab Abdi Moallim, the first lady of Somalia, started her congratulatory speech by reflecting on the thousands of years that the cruel act of female genital mutilation has been practiced. She explained that Ms. Dirie has persisted in devoting her life to improve the lives of girls and women at the risk of her own life. Expressing heartfelt congratulations, she said: “Ms. Dirie, now you are not alone. I want to join you in building a world of peace.”
For more information about the Sunhak Peace Prize and this year’s laureates, please visit sunhakpeaceprize.org.