Yvonne Chaka Chaka Becomes First African Woman to Receive World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award

Yvonne Chaka Chaka, renowned singer-songwriter and Goodwill Ambassador for the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, became the first African woman to receive the World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award. The Award is given each year to successful artists who have used their art to ‘improve the state of the world’, according to the Forum.

Ms Chaka Chaka was presented with the award during the opening ceremony of the Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland by Hilde Schwab, co-founder of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs. During the presentation, Ms Schwab commended Ms Chaka Chaka for her tireless work for major global health issues affecting women and children, in particular malaria control.

‘The theme for this year’s Davos meeting, The Great Transformation: Shaping New Models, confronts today’s global leadership challenge that requires new models, bold ideas and personal courage to ensure that this century improves the human condition rather than caps its potential’ said Ms Schwab. ‘Yvonne Chaka Chaka is someone who delivers these qualities. For many years Yvonne has used her voice to draw attention to the causes that will change the lives of millions – from ending apartheid to improving maternal and child health. Yvonne has clearly understood her opportunities to do good and the access her powerful voice allows, through both song and conversation, to reach and influence those who can act. The World Economic Forum is honoured to present her the Crystal Award.’

The Crystal Awards initiative came from a suggestion to Klaus Schwab by the musician Yehudi Menuhin 17 years ago. Since then the award has been given to ‘exceptional individuals who have made a difference in the world of arts and culture, and have reached out to other cultures.’ Previous winners have included, amongst others, actor Richard Gere, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and producer, composer and musician, Quincy Jones.

Source: CSR Africa.Net – 3 Feb 2012