Eminent Advisory Board

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Eminent Advisory Board

Eminent Advisory Board

AWEPA is guided by the advice of the Eminent Advisory Board. This board meets annually to discuss AWEPA’s policies and programmes and to make suggestions for future priorities regarding developments in Africa. The board members are appointed for an indefinite period of time.

  • Archbishop Desmond Tutu (Honorary Chair)

    A theologian and educator, Archbishop Desmond Tutu has served as Archbishop of Cape Town and Head of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Tutu received the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize for the role he played as a pioneer of peaceful resistance methods in the struggle against the apartheid regime in South Africa. He now plays a leading role in The Elders: an independent group of eminent global leaders, brought together by Nelson Mandela, who offer their collective influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity

  • Ms. Graça Machel (Chair)

    Ms. Graça Machel, founder of the Graça Machel Trust, is a renowned international advocate for women’s and children’s rights. Following the independence struggle, Ms. Machel was Education Minister of Mozambique. She currently serves in various capacities in several organisations, among them The Elders, the Africa Progress Panel and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Advocates. She is Chair of the Board of the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes.

  • Prof. Ruth Oniang’o

    As a former Member of the Kenyan Parliament and a food and nutrition scientist, Professor Ruth Oniang’o is committed to reducing poverty and hunger in Africa through her work with various development agencies. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Rural Outreach Africa and the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition, and Development (AJFAND). She is the recipient of many awards including the 2014 Distinguished Service Award for her influence on the development of nutrition training and agricultural research and development throughout Africa.

  • Ms. Mary Robinson

    Ms. Mary Robinson was a member of the Irish Parliament from 1969 to 1989 and became a member of AWEPA in the 1980s. She was elected as the first woman President of Ireland (1990-1997) and served as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (1997-2002). Currently, Ms. Robinson is Honorary President of Oxfam International and a member of The Elders, among other organisations. A human rights advocate, she established the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice in Dublin.

  • His Excellency Mohamed A. Sahnoun

    H.E. Mohamed Sahnoun, the former Ambassador of Algeria to the United Nations, United States, France, Germany and Morocco, has a long history of humanitarian work in Africa. He has served as Special Representative for the Great Lakes Region, Assistant Secretary General of the Organisation of African Unity, Assistant Secretary General of the Arab League and Director-General for the UNESCO Culture of Peace Programme. H.E. Sahnoun is also a member of the Special Advisory Group of the War-Torn Societies Project and served as the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on the Eritrean-Ethiopian conflict from 1999 to 2002.

  • Dr. Jan Nico Scholten

    Dedicated to humanitarian solidarity, Dr. Jan Nico Scholten was Mayor and Chair of a District Council before joining the Dutch Parliament (House and Senate) as well as serving as a member of the Benelux Parliament and the Assembly of the Council of Europe. In 1984 he founded what is now called AWEPA. He served as Executive and non-Executive President for AWEPA’s first 25 years. He has received awards from the United Nations, various African countries and the former Queen of the Netherlands honouring his commitment to human dignity.

  • Prof. Albert Tevoedjre

    Prof. Albert Tevoedjre was the Special Envoy for the United Nations Secretary-General to the Ivory Coast from 2003 to 2013. Prof. Tevoedjre also played a prominent role as Minister for Planning, Economic Rehabilitation and Employment Promotion of Benin, where he often assumed the position of “Head of Government” in the absence of the President of the Republic. A political scientist by training, Mr. Tevoedjre is the author of several publications on Africa’s political, economic and social development. He was awarded the Prix de la vie économique for his book, “Poverty, Wealth of Mankind”.

In a society where the rights and potential of women are constrained, no man can be truly free.

- Mary Robinson

It’s only when you have a critical mass of women in politics that you get women’s issues attacked.

- Mary Robinson

As more women lead their communities we hope to see fewer conflicts and more peace.

- Mary Robinson

Preventing the conflicts of tomorrow means changing the mind-set of youth today.

- Graça Machel

Ask yourself what you can do to make a difference. And then take that action.

- Graça Machel

We are at a unique point in history and simply must act with far more energy and cohesion.

- His Excellency Mohamed A. Sahnoun

To combat prejudices and painful memories we need to do more with Parliamentarians.

- His Excellency Mohamed A. Sahnoun

Women’s voices shouldn’t only be heard because they are the victims of the war

- Mary Robinson

There are trouble-free spots on the continent, but unfortunately these are rarely heard of, as many observers tend to erroneously treat Africa as one block.

- Ruth O’niango

You educate a woman, you educate a whole community, a whole village

- Ruth O’niango

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world

- Nelson Mandela

I dream of an Africa which is in peace with itself.

- Nelson Mandela

Development that allows the principle of self-reliance, self-sufficiency in all spheres seems to me the only sensible choice for Africa.

- Prof. Albert Tevoedjre

Rural development needs a policy which will enable the populations to understand and believe in the objectives set.

- Dr. Jim Yong Kim

Any policy, any society based on keeping people down will be a failure.

- Prof. Albert Tevoedjre

We are the first generation which can end extreme poverty in our lifetime. But we cannot get there without parliamentarians.

- Dr. Jim Yong Kim