Today at the United Nations in New York FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samba Samoura Diouf was conferred with the African Renaissance & Diaspora Network’s (ARDN) first ever Award for Sport. The award recognises the Senegalese native’s commitment and dedication to the development of humanitarian causes and her championing of diversity and gender equality.
Having spent 21 years working on high level United Nations (UN) programmes in Italy, the Republic of Djibouti, Cameroon, Chad, Guinea, Niger, Madagascar and Nigeria, Fatma Samoura is well known for her commitment to furthering humanitarian causes. It was this commitment and tenacity that led to her being chosen as FIFA’s Secretary General in May 2016.
As the first African and woman to hold the position of FIFA Secretary General, Samoura is a trailblazer for diversity and gender equality. Since her appointment at FIFA the number of women employed by the organisation has increased across the board including in senior management roles.
Speaking about receiving the first ever African Renaissance and Diaspora Network Award for Sport Fatma Samoura said: “I am humbled and greatly honoured to receive this award. To be recognised for my contributions to humanitarian causes during my time working with the UN, and now for my work at FIFA to promote diversity and equality is wonderful and will encourage me to persevere. The progress train has left the station!”
Revered Jesse Jackson joined Fatma Samoura in receiving an ARDN accolade today, its first ever Award for Civil Society in recognition of his lifetime achievement as a social leader, civil rights activist and founder of the Rainbow Push Foundation which pursues social justice and political activism.
In addition, singer, songwriter, producer and entrepreneur Akon (Aliaume Damala Badara Akon Thiam) received the ARDN’s first ever Award for Art and Culture in recognition of his achievements as a musician, rapper and advocate for the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Akon is a proud member of the African diaspora having spent many of his early years in Senegal.
The African Renaissance & Diaspora Network (ARDN) is a non-profit organisation based in the United States of America that aims to co-ordinate and unite the efforts of people and organisations towards supporting the advent of African renaissance by fostering unity between African Nations and all people of African descent. It supports and furthers the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and processes as they relate to Africa and the African Diaspora.