Former Brazilian President Lula Joins Africare To Mark Renewed Investment And Development In a 'New Africa'

31 October 2011
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Africare (Washington, DC)
press release

Washington, DC — Vale To Receive Corporate Award

On November 9, 2011, former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva will join leaders from government, international development organizations and business to celebrate a renewed commitment to investment and development in Africa at the 2011 Africare Bishop John T. Walker Memorial Dinner in Washington, D.C.

Africare will honor two individuals with awards for their dedication to improving people's lives in Africa: former President Lula, Donald F. McHenry, former Ambassador to the United Nations and Chairman Emeritus of Africare, and Vale, the world's second largest diversified mining company, will receive the corporate award which will be accepted on behalf of the company by its new CEO Murilo Pinto de Oliveira Ferreira.

The Brazilian president popularly referred to as "Lula" will receive Africare's Leadership Award for his countless contributions to strengthening economic and political cooperation across the African continent. During his presidency, Lula made Africa a cornerstone of the Brazilian government's foreign strategy, visiting the continent twelve times during his presidency – more often than any of his predecessors.

In addition to stressing cultural ties and strengthening trade and investment relations between Brazil and Africa, his legacy of sustainable engagement includes establishing an agricultural research and technology center in Ghana to promote farming continent-wide, developing biofuel projects in Senegal, Zimbabwe and Tanzania, and forming a new foundation called Institute Lula to continue partnerships that focus on Africa. Lula is also often credited with Brazil's increased efforts to supplying food and medicine to aid Africa's recent humanitarian crises and conflicts.

Dr. Darius Mans, President of Africare, noted the critical role of multi-stakeholder partnerships in solving Africa's social and economic challenges. "With over one billion consumers and a growing middle class, Africa represents one of the fastest-growing markets in the world.  It is only through partnerships across sectors that equitable and sustainable growth can be achieved, said Mans.  "With over 40 years of experience working on the ground with communities, local and national governments, as well as private companies and non-governmental organizations, Africare is uniquely positioned to serve as a platform for meaningful collaboration in sustainable development across the continent. It is our privilege to stand with these three leaders as they continue to serve, lead and invest in a new Africa."

The Africare Bishop John T. Walker Memorial Dinner is the nation's largest annual fundraiser for Africa. The event brings together over 1,000 people including national and international government leaders, the African Diplomatic Corps, representatives from multinational corporations, and individuals from the world's most influential social, educational, and religious organizations. Held each year in memory of Bishop John T. Walker, the event remembers the first African- American Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, D.C. and Africare's longtime Board Chair. Bishop Walker distinguished himself as an exemplar of peace, justice, and interracial harmony. The dinner plays an important role in enabling Africare to both broaden awareness about its work in Africa and to raise critically needed funds to deliver life-saving services.

This year's dinner is made possible by the generosity of Vale, ExxonMobil, Chevron and The Coca-Cola Company as well as many others from the business community.

Past recipients of the Bishop Walker Humanitarian Service Award include His Excellency Nelson R. Mandela, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Jimmy Carter, U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young, former National Council of Negro Women Chair and President Emeritus, the late Dr. Dorothy I. Height, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates.

Tickets for the Bishop Walker Dinner can be purchased at www.africare.org.

Media credentials will be limited. Please contact Charles Bentley at 202-478-3698 / cbentley@apcoworldwide.com or Rebecca Hamel, 202-328-5320 / rhamel@africare.org.

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Africare is a leading non-profit organization specializing in African development assistance to improve the quality of life in Africa. It is also the oldest and largest African-American led organization in that field. Since its founding in 1970, Africare has delivered over $1 billion in assistance and support — with over 2,500 projects and millions of beneficiaries — to 36 countries Africa-wide. These projects have reached 6.5 million direct beneficiaries and approximately 30 million indirect beneficiaries. Africare has its international headquarters in Washington, D.C., with field offices currently in some 20 African countries.

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