Since the announcement on Monday that Seychelles Founding President James R. Mancham has been honored with the Africa Peace Award 2016, the office of the former President has announced the receipt of several messages of congratulation from different personalities in different parts of the world including a congratulatory letter from Seychelles President James A. Michel.
eTurboNews Publisher Juergen T. Steinmetz said: “eTN is proud to be a long-time friend and supporter of the Founding President of the Republic of the Seychelles, Sir James Mancham, who has been honored with the Africa Peace Award 2016. This reward is well deserved, knowing the vision and contribution Sir James Mancham made to the world. eTN would like to honor Sir James with our own Honest Travel Award and recognize this achievement.”
The eTN Honest Travel Award is not about five stars and is never for sale. eTN readers can nominate destinations, organizations, associations, businesses, or people to receive this award. More information on www.honesttravelawards.com
Besides eTN, Sir James received a wide response from leaders around the world.
We reproduce below what President Michel said and a sample of some of the messages received from different personalities worldwide.
From H.E. President James A. Michel –
“It is with immense pleasure that I convey to you, on behalf of the government and people of Seychelles, our warm congratulations for having been awarded the Africa Peace Award by the United Religions Initiative-Africa (URI-Africa).
“This prestigious award is an acknowledgement and recognition to your outstanding contributions in the promotion of peace, democracy, security, interfaith harmony, intercultural dialogue and development in Africa as well as in nurturing the spirit of partnership at both continental and global levels.
“We are extremely proud of this achievement which not only honours your remarkable contributions at the continental level but also honours Seychelles and the Seychellois people in what they represent today in their commitment to sustainable development, democracy and peace. We share your vision and commitment for a peaceful, harmonious and loving Seychelles.
“Indeed, through this award, you have claimed yourself as honoured and well-deserved place in the annals of the history of Africa. We play tribute to your statesmanship and celebrate with you this great accomplishment.
“I wish you good health, happiness and success in all your future endeavours.”
From H.E. Girma Wolde-Giorgis, former President of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia –
“As a Patron of the United Religions Initiative (URI)-Africa, I want to take this opportunity to congratulate you for the 2016 Africa Peace Award you received from URI-Africa in recognition and appreciation of your tireless effort in promoting a culture of peace, inter-religious and international harmony, constructive dialogue among civilization, reconciliation, social justice, good governance and for your visionary and extraordinary leadership and for building the good image of Africa and for being spokesperson for the interest of Africa at international platform as former African President.
“I also came to learn with great pleasure from Ambassador Mussie Hailu about your undertaking to establish a Peace and Reconciliation Centre in Seychelles.
“Please accept Your Excellency my full support to this very important and timely initiative on the establishment of the Centre and once again I congratulate you for the Africa Peace Award which you deserve.”
From David Krieger, President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, California, USA –
“Hearty congratulations on this high honour bestowed upon you for which you are most worthy. Warm greetings.”
From Dr. Negoslav Ostojic, Executive Director of European Center for Peace and Development (ECPD), Belgrade, Serbia –
“Thank you very much for your e-mail of 2nd February. I congratulate you on being honoured with such a prestigious award as Africa Peace Award 2016 which came to the right hands. I wish you good health and many more achievements. Best personal regards.”
From Dr. Lawrence Yu, Founder of the Asia-Pacific Economic Leaders United Association and the Asia-Pacific Economic Leaders Summit Forum, Singapore –
”I would like to extend, on behalf of the Asia-Pacific Economic Leaders United Association and the Asia-Pacific Economic Leaders Forum, our cordial congratulations to Your Excellency President Mancham for the Africa Peace Award 2016!
“We sincerely invite Your Excellency to be the Honored Chairman of the Asia-Pacific Economic Leaders Summit Forum, which has been founded for 12 years and convened for 16 sessions. We sincerely invite you to attend our Asia-Pacific Economic Leaders Summit 2016.”
From Air Seychelles Pilot Christopher Lespoir, Chairperson, Seychelles Young Leaders Association (SYLA) –
“It is a well deserved award more reason as to why I feel aspired by your path. You are indeed casting your legacy in stone.”
From Peace Advocate Lady Carla Davis, Brisbane, Australia –
“Congratulations Sir James – well deserved. This is so heartwarming and inspiring. It is also so refreshing to see peacemakers award instead of always military might. We are all very proud of you.”
From Mihail Mihaylov, Commercial Counsellor at the Bulgarian Embassy in Cairo, Egypt –
“Congratulations for always evolving and inspiring others.”
From Mr. Carlos Westendorp, Secretary General of Le Club de Madrid, Madrid, Spain –
“It is with great pride and satisfaction that Le Club de Madrid has learnt about your being honoured with the Africa Peace Award 2016. Please allow me, on behalf of all your friends and colleagues to wholeheartedly congratulate you for such a well-deserved distinction. As another eloquent proof of your commitments and leadership in the course of dialogue, peace and democracy which are the core mission to our organization – with warmest regards.”
From Michael Havas, Film Director and Screen Writer of the 3D Film on Aldabra, Prague, Czech Republic –
“What a fantastic piece of news. Congratulations! Knowing you and your thought patterns I am not surprised at all even though I knew that such qualities do not necessarily lead to just rewards.”
From Peter Baumgartner Chief Commercial Officer, Etihad Airways, Abu Dhabi, UAE –
“I am very happy and proud of you. I am glad to see your passionate, tireless work is getting its deserve recognition in the form of this prestigious award honour. I have no doubt, this recognition will give you even more energy to follow your vision for the region and the world for many years to come. Many congratulations from all of us at Etihad.”
From George Itty, Chief Executive & Co-Founder of Nahtam Foundation of Abu Dhabi, UAE –
“Our team will be sharing this happy information throughout all our network. A great salute to you from the Nahtam team.”
From Gwilym Sicobo, Seychellois Entrepreneur based in Prague, Czech Republic –
“Your award comes at an opportune time to complement your forthcoming book ‘Among My African Friends’. Warmest regards.”
From the Hon. Jenny Shipley, former Prime Minister of New Zealand –
“My warmest congratulations on this recent recognition. It is enormously significant to have been awarded the Africa Peace Prize for 2016. I personally, and I know, members of Le Club de Madrid will be immensely proud of this achievement and recognition. It is at very least a small statement of the huge impact that you have had through your lifetimes work.”
From Asaf Hajiyev, Secretary General of PABSEC (Parliamentary Assembly of Black Sea Economic Corporation), Academician of Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences –
“When introducing you to an in Istanbul audience last year, I recall calling you ‘Peacemaker’. Your award once again confirms your crucial activity and goodwill in establishing peace everywhere. I am honoured that I have such a friend like you. I am very proud of you.”
From Gordon Anderson, Publisher of Paragon House, Minnesota, USA –
“The award is well deserved as you are truly an untiring advocate for peace and inter-religious ceremony. It is also good news that such an African inter-faith group is working to promote inter-religious peace and harmony as wars and terrorist acts in the name of religion are too prominent in Africa and elsewhere.”
From His Excellency, Dr. Solomon Passy, President and Founder of the Atlantic Club who was the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria from 2001-2005 and Chairman of the UN Security Council (2002-2003) –
“This really is great news though not a surprise. We shall be happy to support in advertising this among wider international circles.”
From Maxime Behar, Honorary Consul General of Seychelles in Bulgaria –
“Huge congratulations – well deserved and great recognition to you personally and to our beloved Seychelles.”
From Lekha Nair, Chief Executive Officer of Seychelles Pension Fund –
“This well-deserved elevation is an indication of your laudable contribution to the development of peace and reconciliation both in Seychelles and abroad. I am so happy that such a privilege reserved primarily for distinguished leaders and advocates of international world peace-makers has been awarded to one of our very own Seychellois.”
From Dr. Miodrag Todorovic, MBBS, MD/MS, MCH/DM, Founder and Chief Executive of Panafricare Pty Ltd., Seychelles –
“I share the joy of this recognition with you and your family as only few people get their tireless work, bright ideas and right philosophy, recognised during their lifetime. If you are looking for more support in your forthcoming project for an Institute in Seychelles for Peace and Reconciliation, you can trust that I am with you.”
Editorial note from Glen Forbes whose news network Oceanus Live carried the following editorial note after publishing news of Sir James being honoured with the award –
“We are very pleased to carry the announcement of the award given to Sir James Mancham. He has been a stalwart in seeking peace across, not only the African continent, but also the globe. We have had the great fortune to observe his work and engage with him for a number of years. His tireless efforts and extensive travel in doing so are a testament to his resolve, determination and all with great humility. This is yet another award to highlight the support he has shown in humanitarian development over many years.”
From His Excellency, Dick Esparon, Seychelles Ambassador in Abu Dhabi, UAE –
“Heartiest congratulations to you Sir James. Once again you have made our country proud and I salute your achievement.”
From Squadron Leader Ankur Naik, former ADC to India’s former President Pratibha Patil –
“…Your hard work and passion for perfection alone brought such reward. It was heartening to see you rise. Your sheer dedication made you stand out. Your out of box vision and ideas are amazing and helps to make world peace grow. Your dedication and enthusiasm and insight are really inspiring.”
From Ambassador Ronnie Jumeau, Seychelles Representative at the United Nations, New York, USA –
“I was indeed pleased to read the announcement in Monday’s issue of the Seychelles Nation. Any award you win is also an honour to our beloved Seychelles.”
From His Excellence, Philippe Le Gall, Seychelles Ambassador to Sri Lanka who was until recently Seychelles Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China –
“…You have played and continue to play a key role, nationally and internationally in promoting superior values and principles that reflect a very positive and exemplary image of Seychelles. The Africa Peace Award is therefore a useful and timely recognition of your efforts and a matter of gratitude and pride for all of us.”
From His Excellency, Joseph Nourrice, Ambassador of Seychelles to Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and the African Union (AU) –
“My warmest congratulations as you join the ranks of those outstanding individuals and institutions who have been honoured for promoting the culture of peace on the continent and far beyond. Today our continent is crying out for peace and tolerance and I am sure that this honour bestowed upon you will further strengthen your resolve in the work towards peace, reconciliation and tolerance amongst nations and countries.”
From Olivier Giscard d’Estaing, who is Chairman of the Committee for a World Parliament, (the brother of former French President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing), is the Founding Dean and Director General of the Insead Business School and Governor of the Atlantic Institute, Paris, France –
“I am so pleased to hear this good news for an entirely justified award. I always appreciated your action and the spirit expressed in your book which is still on my table. A coincidence is happening because I wanted to get in touch with you for your advice and guidance in the creation of an institute to contribute to better and more efficient relations between states and religions; the laicism approach is not general applied and not sufficient.
“We are undertaking a worldwide and historical study covering most important countries and religions. If you are interested I could send you a short description of the project.
“Avec mon très amical souvenir, tous mes voeux et toutes mes félicitations.”
From David Caprara, International Vice-President of Global Peace Foundation, USA –
“Many congratulations Sir James. Well deserved; we look forward to collaborating with the Africa’s Peace Mission. Warm regards”.
From Dr. Manson Fok, Dean Faculty Health Sciences, Macau University of Science and Technology, Macau, China –
“My whole heartened congratulations for a well-deserved award, recognizing your years of contribution and dedicated hard work in promoting peace in Seychelles and on the African continent. May this award brings happiness to the people of beautiful Seychelles as well. Dr. Billy Chan and myself would also embark on a mission this coming Chinese New Year to promote peaceful cooperation in medicine between Cambodia and the People’s Republic of China. I look forward to meeting with you again soon to discuss future cooperation and to promote peace in Asia.”
From Laura Nelson of the Blue Marine Foundation in UK –
“Congratulations Sir James, that is good news. I can see you are keeping yourself busy! All is well with me and BLUE. You may have seen the good news earlier in the year about the closure of 52% of Ascension Island’s waters to fishing that BLUE was instrumental in negotiating: http://www.bluemarinefoundation.com/2016/01/03/ascension-island-to-become-marine-reserve . I thought this may be of interest to you.”
From Shiv Gorowara, Honorary Consul of Seychelles in Mumbai, India –
“Hearty congratulations and we shall raise a toast to this great honour, suitably, in the month of February itself. I would like to mention, that when I first met you some 30 years ago in Seychelles, you struck me as an outstanding thinker, as a master strategist with a humane approach for global inadequacies. I have been proved right and the endless awards conferred on you by various global organisations of great repute and many more to come establish your world leadership.”
From Damian DeStefano, Economic Development Policy Advisor to Governor Jack A. Markell of the State of Delaware, USA –
“That is a fantastic honour and a tribute to the work you are doing. I very much appreciated your discussion at the Veridis Conference in New York City last year.”
From Pravin Darad, Managing Director of Allied Builders (Seychelles) Ltd., member of Seychelles Interfaith Council –
“The award is a befitting recognition of your relentless efforts in ensuring that religious peace in African region remains an important agenda in your scheme of things. The time chosen for declaring your acceptance of the Africa Peace Award 2016 is most appropriate as this is the World Interfaith Harmony Week from 1st to 7th February 2016, as declared by United Nations in year 2012 – and it was on the 6th February 2012 that the Seychelles Interfaith Council was officially launched whereby your august presence is still remembered.”
From Peter Smith, Director, Eden Island Development Company, Seychelles –
“Hearty congratulations on your Africa Peace Award. So richly deserved.”
From Jason Charles, Director, Universal Events & Entertainment, Seychelles –
“Your devotion and hard work has lead the way for your success. I congratulate you for this exceptional achievement. I sincerely value your well-deserved honored. With kind regards.”
From Shaun Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of Mandela Rhodes Foundation, Cape Town, South Africa –
“The breaking news about you receiving the Africa Peace Award 2016 is wonderful news. Will be in touch again soon.”
From Marja-Liisa Rosberg, Honorary Consul of Seychelles & Board Member of the Consular Corps in Finland –
“My cordial congratulations for the Africa Peace Award, one of the highest valued awards in the world.”
From John L. Adam, Retired Teacher and former Chairman of Seychelles Tennis Association –
“This is to congratulate you on your recent Africa Award in recognition of your indefatigable efforts towards promoting World Peace. As a Seychellois, I am all the more pleased and appreciative because such noble initiative comes from a Seychellois from one of the smallest countries of the world. It only shows that ‘smallness’ is irrelevant in the international forum. May you continue drawing world attention on such an important matter and at the same time bringing pride to our little nation in such a lofty undertaking…”
From Silvia Peneva, Programme Editor, The Economist Group, London, United Kingdom –
“I want to reconnect and congratulate you on your recent acknowledgement through the Africa Peace Award.”
From Mike Chadstone, Secretary General of the Independent Conservative Union of Seychelles –
“As a founder and Secretary General of the Independent Conservative Union of Seychelles I would like to congratulate on your highly merited ‘Africa Peace Award.’
“As the founding President of the Republic of Seychelles, you are the flag bearer of democracy in Seychelles and in Africa and you lead this tireless task of bringing about the understanding and dialogue that not only our nation but other nations in Africa and the world needs to heed. You talk about avoiding war at all cost and that the peace process must start with all parties sitting at the same table and understanding each other diverse angle of view and above all, have tolerance to allow this dialogue to take place so that the healing process can start. As Seychellois, we are proud of your achievement and the glory that a son of Seychelles is honoured with on the global realm and that makes us proud to be a Seychellois…”
From editorial in INDEPENDENT Newspaper, Seychelles – Issue: February 5, 2016 –
“This newspaper is extremely proud to add its voice to the chorus that has already congratulated Sir James for this latest well merited award bestowed by the URI. We have not always see eye to eye with the former President, however, that doesn’t mean we do not appreciate his many contributions towards international peace.
“Sir James returned to Seychelles in 1992 after the reintroduction of multiparty democracy. In his very first public address, Sir James advocated reconciliation and peace as the way forward for this tiny island state. And he has been consistent over the years with his messages of peace even if it has caused him great political distress and his party suffered a decline in popular support as a consequence. Sir James had the courage to persist with his agenda of peace and reconciliation when many were turning their backs on him. This is the mark of a great individual Seychelles is lucky to have such a son.
“The Africa Peace Award is further testimony of his commitment towards achieving a better world through peace and reconciliation. His effort towards this end is yet to be recognised on home soil. We hope he will not have to wait for long. Sir James Mancham deserves all the praises for being true to what he really believes and stand for even in the face of adversity. Congratulations!”
From H.E. Smail Chergui, Commissioner of Peace & Security of the African Union (AU) – letter dated Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 4th February, 2016 –
“On behalf of all of us at the Commission of the African Union, I wish to congratulate you wholeheartedly for being awarded the prestigious Africa Peace Award 2016!
“I have personally followed with great interest and inspiration your career for years and was excited to see that you have joined the ranks of other distinguished statesmen in receiving this Pan-African Award. You have always impressed me with your clear vision and ability to get the job done against the most formidable opposition, leading your country to independence and transforming Seychelles into one of the leading touristic attractions in the world, influencing many world leaders with your visionary contemporary philosophy and outlook, undertaking indefatigably various actions to promote peace throughout Africa and the pivotal role played in helping to settle international disputes.
You may certainly count on the support of the African Union in your pursuit of sustainable peace, religious tolerance, environmental protection, development, democracy and good leadership on the African continent. We are confident that your influence will continue to encourage our proud tradition of involvement in worthwhile political causes.
“Please, have no doubt that you have our full support. I wish you the best for many more years to come in promoting peace in Africa and endeavouring to silence the gun on our continent.”