Tag: Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Obama Travels to Africa to Foster Economic and Business Development

Obama in Africa
Obama greets Malawi President Joyce Banda at White House summit in March. (Photo: Joshua Roberts-Pool/Getty Images)
During a 2009 stopover in his ancestral Kenya, President Obama said, “I have the blood of Africa in me.” He is the first American president able to make such a declaration, but that’s not the only thing that will be different about his first major tour of the continent that begins today.

Unlike his immediate predecessors, his primary focus will not be human rights violations, AIDS or aid. This president will be taking care of business.  The weeklong trip with his family includes stops in SenegalSouth Africa and Tanzania, each representing a different region of the continent and chosen for very strategic reasons. The goal is for the “U.S. to significantly increase our engagement in the years to come,” said Ben Rhodes, the White House deputy national security adviser for strategic communications.

New York Rep. Gregory Meeks, who sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told BET.com that Obama is developing the next phase of the nation’s relationship with Africa.

“The trip shows a new direction and attention, and instead of focusing on aid or hunger, which are important, he’ll be talking about business, economic development and how we can get the Export-Import Bank involved in Africa with American and African businesses,” Meeks said. “And he’s bringing along a number of business folks, including African-Americans, to make these kinds of contacts.”

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Desmond Tutu Wins 2013 Templeton Prize With $1.7 Million Award

Desmond Tutu Templeton

Desmond Tutu was named this year’s winner of the 2013 Templeton Prize.

Desmond Tutu, the former Anglican archbishop of Cape Town who rose to international fame as he helped lead the fight against apartheid in South Africa in the 1970s and 1980s, was named the 2013 Templeton Prize winner Thursday.  The honor, which comes with a $1.7 million award, is given annually by the West Conshohocken, Penn.-based John Templeton Foundation. It has, in recent years, been awarded to academics who work at the nexus of religion and science.

Tutu is being awarded for his promotion of what the foundation calls “spiritual progress,” including love, forgiveness and human liberation, especially after the fall of apartheid when he chaired South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The commission addressed tensions between perpetrators of the apartheid state and reformers, and granted amnesty on both sides to hundreds of requests out of thousands that were submitted. It is considered key to the nation’s democratic transition in the 1990s.

“When you are in a crowd and you stand out from the crowd it’s usually because you are being carried on the shoulders of others,” Tutu said in response to receiving the prize in a video on the Templeton website. “I want to acknowledge all the wonderful people who accepted me as their leader at home and so to accept this prize, as it were, in a representative capacity.”

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South Africa’s Desmond Tutu wins $1 Million Prize

Archbishop Desmond Tutu

A billionaire’s foundation announced Thursday a one-off $1 million award to South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu for “his lifelong commitment to speaking truth to power.”  The foundation, which promotes good governance in the continent, was established by Sudan-born billionaire Mo Ibrahim. Continue reading “South Africa’s Desmond Tutu wins $1 Million Prize”