Annan's commitment rewarded with prize

The continuing humanitarian commitment of former United Nations head Kofi Annan has been recognised by the award of the prestigious Gottlieb Duttweiler prize.

This content was published on September 8, 2008 - 21:08

Swiss President Pascal Couchepin was among those who spoke at the presentation ceremony in Zurich on Monday, which was also attended by representatives of many large Swiss companies.

In his acceptance speech, Annan urged his audience to "step up to the challenge" of "overcoming mental boundaries" with regard to Africa.

"There are real opportunities opening up for business to both operate profitably while making a real contribution to improving people's lives," he said. "It is my great belief that Africa is making progress, and it is in the interests of us all that it does so."

The prize, now worth SFr100,000 ($ 90,000), was established in 1958 by Gottlieb Duttweiler, the founder of Switzerland's biggest supermarket, Migros, and a pioneer in providing food at low prices.

It is awarded periodically to people who have made a contribution to the general good through their achievements in scientific, social or economic fields.

Previous winners include former Czech President Vaclav Havel and former German Foreign Minister, Joschka Fischer.

Since ending his term of office as UN secretary-general, Annan has launched the
Global Humanitarian Forum here in Switzerland and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, and worked to promote good governance in Africa.

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