African Union Commission (AUC) chairperson, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, has been awarded the 2012 International Renaissance Woman of the Year Award by the Italy-based Palazzo Strozzi Foundation, the African Union said this week in a statement.
The annual celebratory event took place this week in Florence, Italy, the Addis-Ababa-based organisation said.
Dlamini-Zuma was chosen because of the impact she made in social and human causes and global understanding as a civil servant during the course of her life, the AU quoted the committee members that elected her as saying.
The Renaissance Awards are said to highlight the ideals of openness, mutual understanding, philanthropy and progress.
Commenting on her boss’ crowning, AUC deputy chairperson Erastus Mwencha said: “Dr Zuma’s action in fighting poverty and diseases, promoting human rights and gender equality deserves this particular honour.”
Dlamini-Zuma is the former wife of South African President Jacob Zuma, a polygamist who currently has four wives. The two politicians divorced in 1998 due to irreconcilable differences.
She is the former SA cabinet minister of Foreign Affairs, Home Affairs and Health.She is the first woman elected to chair the AUC.
This year, she successfully challenged long-time AU Commission chair, Gabon’s Jean Ping, in a bitter election that showed cracks in the relations between the Francophone and Anglophone member nations of the AU.