Aug 20th, 2012 11:12 AM UTC
By Nealon DeVore
As many of our readers know, last month ONE delivered its Thrive petition signed by almost 35,000 African citizens to the African Union Chair President Yayi Boni of Benin.
President Boni and Benin’s Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Nassirou Bako Arifari promised to take our petition to the full African Union in order to promote investments in Africa’s agriculture sector across the continent. We know that with proper investments and planning in farms and food supplies, African governments could help lift 31 million African citizens out of poverty and prevent 12 million children from suffering the effects of stunted growth due to malnutrition.
We have a great video of the petition delivery, which features ONE’s Africa Director Dr. Sipho S. Moyo, along with sporting legend Haile Gebrselassie, who delivered the petition on behalf of ONE members across the continent, and Benin’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr. Nassirou Bako Arifari.
Watch the video here:
This comes at a great time as we make real progress in the race against hunger. Haile Gebrselassie joined ONE, our partners, and a few of his fellow Olympians at a Hunger Summit just as the 2012 Olympics closed.
Stay tuned for more updates in our campaigns. These last 4 months of 2012 hold a lot of potential for our campaigns to increase food security and opportunity all over the continent.
Jul 24th, 2012 10:30 AM UTC
By Guest Blogger
Guest blog post from sporting legend Haile Gebrselassie.
Earlier this month I had the pleasure of working with ONE at the African Union Summit here in Addis Ababa. I was both honoured and humbled to be asked to join them in delivering your petition signed by almost 35,000 African citizens to the African Union Chair His Excellency President Yayi Boni of Benin.
The petition asks for African leaders to invest in agriculture and nutrition to lift 31 million Africans out of poverty and prevent 12 million children from stunted growth. I can gladly say we succeeded in doing this, and what a momentous occasion it was.
Before we delivered the petition, I met with some amazing ONE members from Addis Ababa, who were there to represent the thousands of ONE members who had signed the petition. It was exciting to hear from them about ONE and our Thrive campaign. Their spirit certainly carried through to the petition delivery.
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Haile Gebrselassie with other ONE members at the 2012 African Union summit in Addis Ababa.
President Boni had planned to join us on Friday, but unfortunately through a number of complications, his arrival in Addis Ababa was delayed. Luckily enough, His Excellency had his Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr. Nassirou Arifari-Bako, stepped in and received the petition on his behalf.
Haile Gebrselassie presents ONE’s petition.
The following press conference was a great success, especially when the Honorable Minister announced during his speech that 2013 must be the year of agriculture across Africa. I am particularly excited about this commitment from the AU as a citizen of this beautiful and rich continent.
Thank you to all the ONE members for supporting this campaign. We now have our work cut out for us to ensure this becomes a reality!
Haile Gebrselassie, a two-time Olympic gold medalist who has held at least 27 world records in various distances.
Jul 10th, 2012 9:41 AM UTC
By Guest Blogger
As the African Union prepares to meet this week in Addis Ababa, we are excited to feature a renowned Ethiopian voice in support of ONE’s Thrive campaign. Haile Gebrselassie, a two-time Olympic gold medalist who has held at least 27 world records in various long-distance runs, urges people to take action in support of agricultural development around the continent. Haile has seen first-hand the devastation wrought by famine in his country—and the miracle of smart planning and development that helped Ethiopia avoid the worst of last year’s famine in the region (you can also watch a short video about Tigray, a region in Ethiopia wrecked by famine in the 1980s, and its remarkable transformation).
I have run, and won many marathon races around the world in my lifetime. And each time I run, I carry Ethiopia and Africa in my heart. I come from a country that has seen some of the worst famines in the world. I therefore know first hand, what hunger and malnutrition look like.
Today, Africa is in the race of a lifetime. It’s a race that often marks the difference between life and death. It’s a race against hunger, malnutrition and poverty.
It’s a race that we can win, for our brothers and sisters in Africa.
Join me and click here to sign ONE’s petition, which reads:
Dear African leaders,
It’s time to break the vicious cycle of hunger and poverty. When you meet in Addis Ababa please recommit to investing in agriculture and nutrition to help pull 31 million Africans out of poverty and save 12 million children from stunting.
We can begin to make a difference by calling on our leaders to make smart investments in Agriculture. They will be gathering for the African Union summit in Addis Ababa next week and we want to take a message to them that we can break the vicious cycle of hunger and poverty.
This race must be won by 2015. This is the race of a lifetime. Join me in this race and sign the petition right now.
Olympic Marathon winner and ONE member
Image credit: Twitter
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