Seychelles President James Michel has saluted President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and Former President Pedro Pires of Cape Verde as proud examples for Africa following the recognition of their contributions to the continent as recipients of the Noble Peace Prize and the Mo Ibrahim Prize for good governance, respectively.
In his letter to President Sirleaf, President Michel extended congratulations from the people and government of Seychelles, describing the award as a reminder for the international community of its duties towards building a culture of peace:
“Your winning of the Nobel Peace Prize is testimony to your unwavering courage, tenacity, depth of commitment, and the leadership you have shown in advancing the noble ideals of peace and national reconciliation in your country.”
The President added that, given the award was shared by three women, it paid tribute to the role women have consistently played in advancing the ideals of peace, freedom, and equality:
“I strongly believe that your winning of the Nobel Peace Prize is also a victory for women’s rights, human rights, and democracy: the three major components of the winning formula for any country that seeks growth and positive social transformation.”
In his congratulatory letter to Former President Pires, the President celebrated the recognition of the good governance practices being showcased by small island states, adding that the prize was a strong endorsement of the stability and prosperity evident in the Republic of Cape Verde:
“Too often the situation of small islands is marginalized in international forums. We are pleased that this award gives further recognition to island states and also provides a further platform for the defense of issues of critical importance for islands including climate change, the need for a fairer development framework for SIDS, as well as the need for continental developmental programs to also take into account the specific needs of SIDS.”
The President concluded by describing both presidents as forces for peace and development for their countries, continent, and for the wider international community.