Thursday, July 21, 2005

Ethiopian PM Wins Norwegian Prize Dedicated to Africa

Xinhua -- Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi won a Norwegian prize that promotes UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's call for a green revolution in Africa, the Ethiopian news agency reported on Wednesday.

The report quoted the prize committee as saying Meles will receive the first Yara Prize, worth 200,000 US dollars, "for his contribution to improved food security and human nutrition in ways that also protect the environment."

"He has brought about political changes in Ethiopia, and placedthe rural poor first in the country's development strategies," said the prize committee.

It said the award was created this year by Oslo-based agricultural group, Yara International ASA, to honor individuals or organizations who reduce poverty and hunger in Africa through sustainable projects.

It will be presented by Jeffrey Sachs, a top economic adviser to Annan, at an awarding ceremony in Oslo on Sept. 3.

The prize committee noted that Ethiopia, one of the world's poorest countries, has doubled its food production and achieved anannual growth rate of 5.8 percent of gross domestic product, despite severe droughts in 1998 and 2001.

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