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Soccer great Zidane tackles poverty in Mali as UN Goodwill Ambassador

Article / Review by on October 25, 2011 – 11:42 pmNo Comments

Soccer great Zidane tackles poverty in Mali as UN Goodwill Ambassador

25 October 2011

The soccer ace and United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Zinédine Zidane has ended a visit to Mali highlighting new anti-poverty tools in the West African country, including a multi-purpose engine that provides affordable power to mill grain, process rice, and recharge batteries.
UNDP Goodwill Ambassador Zinédine Zidane (right) meets with students at a school in Bancoumana, Mali

“I’ve been able to see for myself how these simple machines can make women’s everyday lives easier, and generate economic and social development that benefits everyone in the community,” said Mr. Zidane, a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Development Programme (UNDP), who also visited a UNDP-supported women-run shea butter factory.

“It would be fantastic if every village in Mali could have one of these machines,” he added on a visit to Koursalé, 60 kilometres southwest of the capital, Bamako, noting that over 1,000 villages in Mali are equipped with the technology, reducing the amount of time local women spend on household chores.

The programme has so far reached about 1.5 million people in Mali, and some 3 million in West Africa now have better energy access through the engines, some of which run on biofuels such as the Jatropha vegetable oil.

It focuses on women with low income and minimal access to energy. Only registered women’s associations, with support of village members, can apply for a unit. Once trained, they save an average of between two and six hours daily using the technology.

Improving access to energy for some of the world’s poorest populations is part of UNDP’s poverty reduction strategy, which involves supporting governments in drawing up and putting into action policies that break poverty cycles and create opportunities for women.

In Bamako, Mr. Zidane participated in a sports event with 3,000 youths as part of an advocacy effort for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), eight internationally-agreed goals that seek to slash poverty, hunger, lack of access to health care and education, and a host of other ills, all by 2015.

UNDP acting Resident Representative Maurice Dewulf hailed Mr. Zidane as a “valuable Ambassador who has teamed up with 13 million Malians with a view to achieving the MDGs.”

Prior to his departure on Friday, Mr. Zidane met with Mali’s President Amadou Toumani Touré, who acknowledged the football star’s commitment to advocating against poverty.

Together with soccer great Ronaldo Mr. Zidane has been organizing charity games as a UNDP Goodwill Ambassador for the past eight years.

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25 October 2011

Football legend Zinedine Zidane ends Mali visit with anti-poverty call



Bamako — Football superstar and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Goodwill Ambassador Zinédine Zidane ended a visit to Mali last Friday highlighting new anti-poverty tools put into action across the West African nation.

Zidane visited a group of women who manage a multi-purpose engine that provides the village of Koursalé, 60 kilometres southwest of the capital, Bamako, with an affordable power supply for milling grain, processing rice, and recharging batteries.

“I’ve been able to see for myself how these simple machines can make women’s everyday lives easier, and generate economic and social development that benefits everyone in the community,” said Zidane who also visited a UNDP-supported women-run shea butter factory, and met with students from a school in neighbouring Bancoumana.

“It would be fantastic if every village in Mali could have one of these machines,” he said, noting that more than one thousand villages in Mali are equipped with this technology, reducing the amount of time local women spend on household chores.

The programme has so far reached about 1.5 million people in Mali and approximately three million in West Africa now have better energy access through the engines, some of which now run on biofuels such as the Jatropha vegetable oil.

It focuses on women with low income and minimal access to energy. Only registered women’s associations, with support of village members, can apply for a unit. Once trained, they save an average of between two and six hours daily using the technology.

Improving access to energy for some of the world’s poorest populations is one plank of UNDP’s poverty reduction strategy, which involves supporting governments in drawing up and putting into action policies that break poverty cycles and create opportunities for women.

In Bamako, Zidane also participated in a sports event with 3,000 youth as part of advocacy efforts for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – eight internationally-agreed goals that seek to end extreme poverty by 2015.

UNDP acting Resident Representative Maurice Dewulf hailed Zidane as a “valuable Ambassador who has teamed up with 13 million Malians with a view to achieving the MDGs.”

Prior to his departure, Zidane met with Mali’s President Amadou Toumani Touré, who acknowledged the football star’s commitment to advocating against poverty.

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Zidane visits Mali Gallery

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Zidane visited a group of women who manage a multi-purpose engine that provides the village of Koursalé, 60 kilometres southwest of the capital, Bamako, with an affordable power supply for milling grain, processing rice, and recharging batteries.  Photo: N. Meulders/UNDP

Zidane visits Mali 
Zidane visited a group of women who manage a multi-purpose engine that provides the village of Koursalé, 60 kilometres southwest of the capital, Bamako, with an affordable power supply for milling grain, processing rice, and recharging batteries.
Photo: N. Meulders/UNDP

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Zidane participates to a press conference with UNDP's acting Resident Representative Maurice Dewulf (left). Photo: A. Poltier/UNDP

Zidane visits Mali
Zidane participates to a press conference with UNDP’s acting Resident Representative Maurice Dewulf (left).Photo: A. Poltier/UNDP

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Zidane visits Mali  Photo: N. Meulders /UNDP

Zidane visits Mali
Photo: N. Meulders /UNDP

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Zidane visits Mali  Photo: A. Poltier / UNDP

Zidane visits Mali
Photo: A. Poltier / UNDP

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Football superstar and UNDP Goodwill Ambassador Zinédine Zidane paid a visit to Mali on Octover 20-21 to highligh new anti-poverty tools put into action across the West African nation. Photo: N. Meulders/UNDP
Zidane visits Mali
Football superstar and UNDP Goodwill Ambassador Zinédine Zidane paid a visit to Mali on Octover 20-21 to highligh new anti-poverty tools put into action across the West African nation.
Photo: N. Meulders/UNDP
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Zidane visits Mali  Photo: S. Rigaud / UNDP

Zidane visits Mali
Photo: S. Rigaud / UNDP

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Zidane visits Mali  Zidane meets with Mali’s President Amadou Toumani Touré, October 21st, 2011. Photo: Habib Kouyate / UNDP

Zidane visits Mali
Zidane meets with Mali’s President Amadou Toumani Touré, October 21st, 2011.
Photo: Habib Kouyate / UNDP

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Zidane visits Mali  In Bamako, Zidane participated in a sports event with 3,000 youth as part of advocacy efforts for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) - eight internationally-agreed goals that seek to end extreme poverty by 2015, October 21, 2011. Photo: Habib Kouayte /UNDP

Zidane visits Mali
In Bamako, Zidane participated in a sports event with 3,000 youth as part of advocacy efforts for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – eight internationally-agreed goals that seek to end extreme poverty by 2015, October 21, 2011.
Photo: Habib Kouayte /UNDP

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Zinеdine Zidane visit to Mali, October 2011 Zidane’s trip included visits to women’s and youth empowerment projects.

Zinеdine Zidane visit to Mali, October 2011
Zidane’s trip included visits to women’s and youth empowerment projects.

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Zinedine Zidane visit to Mali, October 2011  Zidane’s trip included visits to women’s and youth empowerment projects.

Zinedine Zidane visit to Mali, October 2011
Zidane’s trip included visits to women’s and youth empowerment projects.

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Zinedine Zidane visit to Mali, October 2011 Zidane’s trip included visits to women’s and youth empowerment projects.

Zinedine Zidane visit to Mali, October 2011
Zidane’s trip included visits to women’s and youth empowerment projects.

…………………………………………………………………………

Zidane visit to Mali, October 2011 Zidane visited a group of women who manage a multi-purpose engine that provides the village of Koursalé, 60 kilometres southwest of the capital, Bamako, with an affordable power supply for milling grain, processing rice, and recharging batteries.

Zidane visit to Mali, October 2011
Zidane visited a group of women who manage a multi-purpose engine that provides the village of Koursalé, 60 kilometres southwest of the capital, Bamako, with an affordable power supply for milling grain, processing rice, and recharging batteries.

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> United Nations (UN).

The General Assembly in session. Photo credit: UN / Eskinder Debebe The United Nations was established on 24 October 1945 by 51 countries committed to preserving peace through international cooperation and collective security. Today, nearly every nation in the world belongs to the UN: membership totals 192 countries.

When States become Members of the United Nations, they agree to accept the obligations of the UN Charter, an international treaty that sets out basic principles of international relations. According to the Charter, the UN has four purposes:

  • to maintain international peace and security;
  • to develop friendly relations among nations;
  • to cooperate in solving international problems and in promoting respect for human rights;
  • and to be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations.

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* The above story is adapted from materials provided by United Nations (UN)
** More information at United Nations (UN)

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