Ghana’s former President, Mr John Agyekum Kufuor has been chosen to receive the 2011 World Food Prize.
Mr Kufuor and former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva were chosen to jointly receive the prize.
The award is given to a person or persons who fight against hunger.
According to the organizers, World Food Prize Foundation, the award was given to Kufuor and da Silva due to their personal commitment and visionary leadership while serving as the presidents of their various countries.
“John Agyekum Kufuor and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva have been chosen to jointly receive the 2011 World Food Prize for their personal commitment and visionary leadership while serving as the presidents of Ghana and of Brazil, respectively, in creating and implementing government policies to alleviate hunger and poverty in their countries”, said the organizers.
A citation read during the ceremony today June 21, 2011 at the US State Department in Washington, said “Under President Kufuor’s leadership, Ghana became the first sub-Saharan African country to cut in half the proportion of its people who suffer from hunger, and the proportion of people living on less than a dollar per day, on course to meet UN Millenium Development Goal 1.”
It added “Continuing Ghana’s tradition of stability, President Kufuor prioritized national agricultural policies: Ghana saw a reduction in its poverty rate from 51.7 percent in 1991 to 26.5 percent in 2008, and hunger was reduced from 34 percent in 1990 down to 9 percent in 2004.”
Commenting on the award former president Kufuor said in a statement “I am overjoyed that in this time of increasing food crisis around the world, I should be adjudged as deserving of this great award for the role I played in boosting agriculture in my country, Ghana, during my tenure as President”.
US Secretary of State, Hilary Rodham Clinton was present at the ceremony.
The Prize Foundation, says these two leaders will be formally awarded the World Food Prize at the 25th Anniversary Laureate Award Ceremony at the Iowa State Capital on October 13, in conjunction with the Borlaug Dialogue international symposium in Des Moines, Iowa, themed “The Next Generation: Confronting the Hunger Challenges of Tomorrow.
By Ekow Quandzie