African Consuls General in Jeddah present Shield of Merit and Excellence to Secretary-General of Academy on Africa Day
25 May، 2023

On the occasion of the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the African Union, H.E. Prof. Koutoub Moustapha Sano, Secretary General of the International Islamic Fiqh Academy, was awarded a Shield of Merit and Excellence during this year’s Africa Day celebration, in recognition of the quality reforms and profound changes he has brought about since assumption as Secretary General of the Academy, and as the first non-Arab African to hold this position since the founding of the Academy.

After presenting the award to His Excellency, on behalf of the Consuls General, H.E. Mr. Abdelaziz Branly Opolo, Head of the African Consular Service, Consul General of the Gabonese Republic in Jeddah, declared: “H.E. Prof. Koutoub Moustapha Sano is the guest of honor at this celebration, as we have decided to award him the Shield of Merit and Excellence to express our sincere respect for this honorable person, and our high appreciation for the reforms, changes and developments that have been introduced since he assumed the position of Secretary General of the Academy in 2020. We also express our full support for His Excellency and our commitment to him to enable him to continue to honour Africa with his outstanding achievements, and to show the world that the African continent is full of talented, distinguished and creative people like him. We are proud of him, and we are very pleased with what he is doing with his knowledge and his position, clear and innovative reforms”.

For his part, H.E. Prof. Koutoub Sano spoke on this occasion to a large crowd gathered in a magnificent hall, including consuls general representing 54 African countries and a number of Africans residing in Jeddah, and said:

“In fact, I am deeply honored and filled with gratitude and appreciation to all of you for this great and generous honor. This night will certainly remain immortalized in our memories. Allow me to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks and gratitude to each and every one of you, and in particular to you, my dear brother, Your Excellency, the Consul General of the Gabonese Republic, to the Consul General’s companions, and to all the guests, friends of Africa, and all the African citizens who are present with us. It’s true that I must work assiduously and sincerely to deserve this great trust you have placed in me this evening. I take this great opportunity to say loud and clear that we Africans must firmly believe that our continent is the continent of the future, the continent of humanity, the continent of fraternity, the continent of peace and serenity, and that is why we need human resources and natural resources. Future developments require nothing more than strengthening cooperation between countries, reinforcing solidarity between peoples, and investing in youth and courageous men and women. At the end of this brief speech, I would like to thank you once again, Ladies and Gentlemen Consuls General. I can also assure you that this honor is also an honor for the Secretary General of the OIC, H.E. Mr. Hissein Ibrahim Taha, as the International Islamic Fiqh Academy is one of the organs of the OIC. I cannot forget to express my sincere thanks to the rulers and people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for this blessed country has been and will remain a friend of Africa, may it receive all the love, friendship, appreciation and respect it deserves. May Allah protect us all and bless us with His grace. Thank you.”

The Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was represented by H.E. Ambassador Adnan Murad, Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia in the Makkah region, and H.E. Ambassador Ahmed bin Dhafar, Secretary of Royal Protocols in the Makkah region, as well as a large number of Consuls General from Europe, Asia and America.

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