Back to listOct 14, 2010

Cote d'Ivoire Honors SGI

Fifty years ago on October 14, 1960, then Soka Gakkai President Daisaku Ikeda visited the United Nations Headquarters in New York, during its 15th General Assembly session. During that session, 17 nations, including Cameroon, Togo and Madagascar, were admitted as members. Mr. Ikeda, seeing the new youthful leaders of Africa at the UN, declared that the 21st century would be the "century of Africa."

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Mr. Ikeda's inaugural trip outside of Japan and his hope-filled declaration for the future of Africa, SGI members throughout the continent held commemorative meetings.

On October 14, President Laurent Gbagbo of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire presented Mr. Ikeda with that country's Order of Merit in admiration of SGI's longstanding contributions to world peace, culture and education. The award was presented by the Embassy of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire in Japan and was received by Mr. Ikeda on behalf of SGI.

For five decades, Soka Gakkai, under the leadership of Mr. Ikeda, has contributed to cultural and educational exchanges between Japan and countries in Africa. To date, Soka University of Japan, founded by Mr. Ikeda, has held exchanges with six universities from five countries in Africa. In addition, the Min-On Concert Association, also founded by Mr. Ikeda, has held cultural exchanges with 13 countries from Africa.

[Adapted from articles in the October 15 and 17, 2010, issues of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]