The World Food Prize Foundation

Former Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano Accepts Position on Council


APRIL 14, 2008 - Joins Aquino, Bush, Carter and Obasanjo as Fifth Former Head of State on Council

H.E. Joaquim Chissano


APRIL 14, 2008 -- The World Food Prize Foundation is honored to announce that H.E. Joaquim Chissano, former president of Mozambique and the first recipient of the Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, has become a member of its Council of Advisors. Chissano will become the fifth former head of state on the Council, joining former U.S. Presidents Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush, former Nigerian President H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo, and former President of the Philippines, H.E. Corazon C. Aquino.

“I feel honoured that by the kind initiative of Dr. Borlaug I have the opportunity to become a member of this prestigious Council,” Chissano said in accecpting the position.

The World Food Prize Council of Advisors provides support and guidance to the Foundation and provides input on how to best continue to build WFP founder Dr. Norman E. Borlaug’s vision for the Prize into reality.

Born October 22, 1939 in the remote village of Malehice, in southern Mozambique, Chissano became the first black man to enroll in Liceu Salazar (presently Josina Machel Secondary School, in Maputo), where he completed his secondary education in 1960. After studying medicine for a year in Portugal, Chissano was forced to leave for political reasons. In the 1960’s, he spent time in France representing Frelimo, the Mozambique independence movement, which led to his involvement in the Mozambican War of Independence against the Portuguese. In September of 1974 he took office as the Prime Minister of the transition government and when Mozambique proclaimed its independence in 1975, Chissano was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs. With the death of President Samora Machel in 1986, Chissano was elected as president of the People’s Republic of Mozambique, a position he held until February of 2005, when he voluntarily stepped down from power. As president, Chissano devoted himself to restoring peace and stability in Mozambique, initiating the constitutional and economic reforms and is credited with leading Mozambique to a multi-party system and an open market.

Chissano was awarded the first Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership for his achievements in bringing peace, reconciliation, stable democracy and economic progress to Mozambique and stepping down without seeking the third term the constitution allowed. In presenting the award, Ibrahim noted Chissano as “a man who has reconciled a divided nation and built the foundations for a stable, democratic, and prosperous future for the country.”

In addition to joining the Council, Chissano will deliver a major address at the World Food Prize’s 2008 Borlaug Dialogue, to be held October 15-17.

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