Ms Angela Merkel, Germany’s former Chancellor, is the latest recipient of the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize. Established by UNESCO in 1990 to distinguish outstanding contributions to the advancement of the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, the award was presented to Ms Merkel for her policy decision to welcome a significant number of refugees to Germany in the summer of 2015. The ceremony took place in Côte d’Ivoire’s capital, Yamoussoukro.
Over 2.000 guests attended the ceremony, among them the presidents of Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Guinea-0Bissau, Ghana, Liberia, as well as the African Union Commission. Former Ivorian presidents Laurent Gbagbo and Henri Konan Bédié were also present.
In her speech, Ms Merkel identified instability and violence as the main causes for migration. Particularly, she highlighted the ongoing conflicts in Congo, Somalia, Ethiopia, and the Central African Republic. She attributed the significant increase of violence in West Africa to the advance of terrorist groups and emphasised that Germany supports several stabilisation projects to assist in countering these dynamics. It is in this context that the former German Chancellor spoke about the work of the PATRIP Foundation and its partners in West Africa.
The PATRIP Foundation, established in 2011, has been active in West Africa since 2019. For our projects, we partner with civil society to strengthen stability and resilience through the promotion of peace dialogue and the implementation of infrastructure. So far, more than 30 projects have been granted to our 15 NGO partners, who are responsible for implementation on the ground.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Ms Merkel and the Federal Republic of Germany for their support and confidence in us and our partners. In view of the deteriorating situation, stabilisation projects in unstable border regions remain highly necessary.