News / Africa

African Union to Enlist Famous Africans as Peace Ambassadors

Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa (file photo)
Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa (file photo)

Multimedia

Audio
James Butty

The African Union has reportedly named famous African politicians, musicians, and Nobel laureates as special ambassadors to promote the AU’s peace efforts across the continent.

At their summit in Libya a year ago, African leaders declared 2010 as the "Year of Peace and Security."

The Associated Press reported Monday that the African Union has named South African anti-apartheid legend Desmond Tutu, Kenya’s Nobel laureate Wangari Maathai, and multimillionaire Mo Ibrahim.

Other celebrities include Senegal’s Grammy-winning singer Youssou N’Dour, Ghanaian international footballer Michael Essien and pop singer Salif Keita of Mali.

University of Abuja political science professor Kabiru Mato says, with so many conflicts on the continent, the African Union is correct in calling on some of its famous citizens to be peace diplomats.

Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai of Kenya
Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai of Kenya

“I think what the African Union is doing is simply following along the lines of what has been done elsewhere in the world and even in Africa in the past. We have seen where great persons and women have been used to bring about solutions to protracted crises. So, in my view, it’s another major achievement because these people are simply serving as instruments to achieve certain specific objectives,” he said.

Mato said the new peace emissaries would complement the work of the AU Peace and Security Council.

“I think it’s more or less adding some impetus into the work of the Peace and Security Council in order to achieve peace throughout the continent, especially in those areas where war has become the rule rather than the exception,” Mato said.

He cited the roles played by former Liberian international footballer George Weah and Ivory Coast international footballer Didier Drogba in helping to bring peace to their respective countries.

Didier Drogba of Ivory Coast
Didier Drogba of Ivory Coast

Drogba is credited with playing a vital role in bringing peace to his country. After Côte d'Ivoire qualified for the 2006 World Cup, Drogba made a desperate plea to the combatants asking them to lay down their arms, a plea which many said was answered with a cease fire after five years of civil war.

Drogba later helped move an African Cup of Nations qualifier to the rebel stronghold of Bouake, a move that some said helped confirm the peace process.

"I’ve seen the role that people like George Oppong Weah played in the heat of the Liberian civil war," Mato said. "We’ve also seen, to a large extent, the contribution of the footballer from Ivory Coast, Didier Drogba, in also providing relief in the hostilities between the north and the south of the Ivory Coast. I think it’s simply a strategy of deploying more resources to address African problems.”

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More