Sir James R. Mancham, KBE FRSA, founding President of the Republic of Seychelles, has announced his acceptance of the Africa Peace Award, an accolade given by the United Religions Initiative (URI) to African leaders committed to building peace.
The URI is an interfaith peace organisation with consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council and it is working to promote enduring daily interfaith cooperation to end religiously motivated violence and to create cultures of peace, healing and justice for all.
Through its 175-member organisations from 31 African countries, URI Africa is cultivating peaceful coexistence among different religions and cultures by engaging people to bridge religious and cultural differences and work together for the good of their communities and the environment.
In a statement issued from his office in Addis Ababa, H.E. Ambassador Mussie Hailu said: “This award helps to create role models of peace builders throughout Africa. Since its establishment in 2007, URI Africa have been giving the award every year to either distinguished African leaders, individuals and organisations who are doing exemplary work.”
Sir James, who recently re-joined the RSA Fellowship network, was awarded the Gusi Peace Prize for Statesmanship in 2011 in Manila, Philippines, and has been active in the promotion of peace and reconciliation over the last 20 years in various parts of the world in association with various peace-orientated organisations.
He said that he was particularly exhilarated about the Award coming as it did in the wake of his decision to create and promote a Centre for Peace Studies and Reconciliation in Seychelles. In this respect, he quoted Victor Hugo’s famous statement: “There is one thing stronger than all the armies of the world and that is – an idea whose time has come.”