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, 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.