This year, BNP Paribas conferred awards for individual philanthropy for the first time in France. A BNP Paribas Private Banking initiative, these awards are designed to champion remarkable philanthropic projects, with value of example.
A jury headed by Amartya K. Sen, who won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1998, comprised 10 international experts from the academic, artistic, cultural and entrepreneurial spheres and associations:
- Yann Arthus-Bertrand
- Suzanne Berger
- Michael Golden
- Lorenz de Hasbourg
- Maria Nowak
- Michel Pébereau
- Angelin Preljocaj
- Jacques Rigaud
- Louis Schweitzer
This jury considered the profiles of twenty nominees, judging each on transparency of action, ethics, personal and financial commitments and professionalism, and taking into account the subsequent impact of their actions.
Two categories of awards were presented: the Grand Prix, rewarding a philanthropist for a body of charitable work, and the Prix Coup de Cœur recognizing a project or original community undertaking, were attributed to Dr. Mo Ibrahim and Amina Laraki-Slaoui respectively.
These awards were presented during the second meeting on Philanthropy and Sustainable Development organized by BNP Paribas Private Banking on May 15, 2008 at the Château de Versailles.
During the event, Baudouin Prot declared: “Social and environmental responsibility is at the heart of the BNP Paribas group's concerns.By launching the BNP Paribas Award for Philanthropy, we are expressing our desire to support exemplary initiatives, facilitate the sharing of experiences and encourage other projects in the vital area of solidarity.”
- Dr. Mo Ibrahim was awarded the Grand Prix for his work promoting good governance in Sub-Saharan Africa via The Mo Ibrahim Foundation. The Foundation's mission is critical as it could facilitate the development of African countries by encouraging democratic debate and advancing the cause for honest and transparent governance.
In 2006, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation launched the Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, which recognized Heads of State who had successfully improved the health, safety, education and economic development of their people.
The inaugural prize presented in 2007 was awarded to the President of Mozambique, Joaquim Chissano, for his role in bringing peace and democracy to that country. In 2007, the Foundation also published an index of African countries classified in terms of safety, corruption and respect for human rights.
Named among the 100 most influential people in the world (according to Time magazine), Dr. Mo Ibrahim's entrepreneurial accomplishments in the field of mobile telephony and as a pioneer of democracy in Africa represent a sterling example of the commitment demonstrated by entrepreneurs invested in philanthropy.
- Amina Laraki-Slaoui was awarded the Prix Coup de Cœur by the jury for the Noor center for disabled persons, which she established in Morocco after suffering a serious accident. The goal of the Noor rehabilitation center, designed around Amina Laraki by Amicale des handicapés in Casablanca, is to help disabled persons reclaim a normal life. The center has played a vital role in helping to change the image of disability in Morocco and in making it of routine consideration. Other battles remain to be fought, such as accessibility to public areas, academic training, re-entry into working life, access to technical means (wheelchairs, etc.).