16 December 2003, Rome/Abuja
--President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria has received
the Agricola Medal, struck in his honour by the UN Food and
Agriculture Organization (FAO) for his role in bringing peace
and boosting agricultural and social development in
Africa's most populated country, FAO said on Tuesday.
FAO Director-General Dr Jacques Diouf
presented the medal to President Obasanjo during a ceremony in
the capital, Abuja.
The Agricola Medal
honours distinguished personalities for their commitment and
support to the promotion of sustainable food production, world
food security and international cooperation.
FAO conferred the medal as "as a token of its
esteem and respect for President Obasanjo's tireless
efforts to fight hunger and poverty and to achieve food security
and prosperity not only in his own country, but in the entire
continent and the world at large," Dr Diouf said.
Dr Diouf said Mr Obasanjo had played an
important role in strengthening agricultural and social
development in Nigeria and paid tribute to his personal
commitment to the launch and implementation of the New
Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).
In his capacity as Chairman of the Heads of State and
Government Implementation Committee of NEPAD, President Obasanjo
played a pivotal role in bringing agriculture and food security
to the forefront of the political agenda of the continent, by
encouraging leaders of African countries to work together to
bring their populations out of hunger and poverty through
democracy, sustainable agricultural and rural development, Dr
Prior to President Obasanjo,
several world leaders have received the award, including:
President Johannes Rau of Germany, President Hosni Mubarak of
Egypt, Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar, President
Jacques Chirac of France, King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, King
Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, President Jiang Zemin of China
and President Jerry Rawlings of
Information Officer, FAO
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