Peacemaker in Ivory Coast
For all his negative impact against his people and other Africans, Houphouët-Boigny would be remembered as one of the African leaders who ruled over a peaceful country throughout his tenure.
In 1989, the UNESCO founded the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize, funded by the Ivorian president under his foundation. The prize was set up to “to honour living individuals and active public or private bodies or institutions that have made a significant contribution to promoting, seeking, safeguarding or maintaining peace in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations and the Constitution of UNESCO.”
It comes with a cheque of $150,000, a gold medal and a peace diploma. The first recipients of the award were Nelson Mandel and Frederik Willem de Klerk for their effort in promoting understanding and overcoming of prejudice in South Africa.
In 2017, the award went to Giuseppina Nicolini, Mayor of Lampedusa (Italy) and the non-governmental organisation SOS Méditerranée (France) for their work to save the lives of refugees and migrants and welcome them with dignity.