WWF celebrates award of South African honour to Chief Emeka Anyaoku

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The award of South Africa's highest honour for a non-South African to WWF President Chief Emeka Anyaoku is a well-deserved recognition of an outstanding international leader, WWF said yesterday.

South African President Thabo Mbeki's decision to confer the Order of the Supreme Companions of O.R.Tambo:Gold on Chief Emeka Anyaoku was announced today.

“The award is in recognition of Emeka Anyaoku’s great contribution to the ending of apartheid and enthronement of democracy in South Africa,” the statement says. It cites Chief Anyaoku's early involvement with African National Congress leader Oliver Tambo and colleagues including Nelson Mandela, and his key role as Commonwealth Secretary-General in crucial negotiations in 1991-93 that produced the agreement leading to South Africa's first multi-racial elections.

Chief Anyaoku has served as the President of the global conservation organization WWF since 2002.

“We give Chief Anyaoku our heartfelt congratulations,” said James Leape, Director General of WWF International. “We also find it particularly appropriate that Chief Anyaoku, a great leader for conservation, is to receive this honour on Earth Day, April 22.”

“This award recognises Chief Anyaoku as a man who has made a great difference in bringing about a better world, something he continues to do in his advocacy for a better environment.

“Chief Anyaoku is one of those rare leaders whose reach extends from the local to the global, as Ichie Adazie of Obosi, leader of his own people, to his roles as Commonwealth Secretary-General and WWF President.”

“It has been and it continues to be a great privilege for us to work with Chief Anyaoku.”