Laudatory speech for the laureates of the
SALIF KEITA from Mali
Now the moment where we would like to give away our Africa Festival Award 2009 has come. This year the management of the festival decided to honour three people. The first Africa Festival Award 2009 will be given to an artist of great international renown. He won’t be honoured for his extraordinary voice or his long musical career, but for his commitment to albinos. With his organisation “Salif Keita global foundation” he tries to make it easier for albinos to access education and get free medical care. We all know that in various countries albinos are subject to persecution, social exclusion and discrimination. The Africa Festival Award 2009 goes to Salif Keita for defending the rights of albinos, which deserves recognition.
As Salif Keita isn’t in Würzburg yet, we ask Mister Ba, minister for handicrafts and tourism of the Republic of Mali, to accept this award and give it to Salif Keita during his concert on Monday.
ALHOUS AG TAJOU and ELKASSIM from Timbuktu
The other two Africa Festival Awards 2009 go to two gentlemen who have become a staple at the festival. Each year they bring sun, hospitality and a smile to the Africa Festival.
Over the years, for many visitors, their tent has become a place for relaxing and meeting different people. Their traditional habits, their way of life and their art make many Europeans start dreaming. Without them realising, they are doing a great job at advertising their beautiful home country. These two gentlemen are ambassadors for a positive and upright Africa. The laureates of 2009 are Mister Alhous and Mister El Kassim, whom I cordially invite to accept the Africa Festival Award on stage.