Former First Lady Graça Machel was awarded the 2018 World Prize for Integrated Development for her significant social justice achievements and tireless work on behalf of women and children at this year’s annual Innovation Summit that took place at Green Point Stadium on Wednesday and Thursday September 12 and 13.
The summit is the annual agship event on the South African Innovation Calendar, that aims to provide a platform for nurturing, developing and showcasing African innovation, as well as facilitating innovation thought-leadership.
Ms Machel could not attend the event as she was in Ghana to attend the state funeral of the former secretary-general of the United Nations, Kofi Annan.
Ms Machel’s daughter, Josina Machel, accepted the award on her behalf
Ms Machel thanked NIRAS — an international development organisation that contributes to solutions for societal challenges. – for recognising the work of her mother on behalf of Africa’s women and children and stated that they had given women and children a place of distinction on the global development agenda.
She said she was honoured to be in the company of people who were taking the African continent forward.
Accepting the award, Ms Machel said: “This award is a testament to the strength, resilience and innovation that lies on the beautiful African continent, I’m happy to see entrepreneurs and everyone in the spirit of advancing innovation in Africa,” she said.
Ms Machel added that the Graca Machel Trust aimed to uphold the dignity and human rights of African women and children and this fit perfectly with NIRAS’s principles of cherishing the inherent value of every human life and ensuring that access to health, education, and economic opportunities were available to the marginalised and neglected of the world.
The marketing director for NIRAS, Claus Neilson, said the panel concluded that it had to be Ms Machel who received the award this year.
The summit under the theme “Africa, our time has come” attracted more than 1 000 thought-leaders and entrepreneurs from across the continent.