Amadou Toumani Touré

Amadou Toumani Touré

Former President of Mali

Amadou Toumani Touré General Touré brought democracy to his country and now devotes his energies to public health, children's issues and resolving the ethnic conflicts that are causing some of Africa's most severe hunger. In March 1991 General Touré led the coup that ended 23 years of single-party rule in Mali. On the same day, he was elected president of the Committee of National Reconciliation, which led the efforts of Mali's people to become a multiparty democratic state. One year later he peacefully stepped down following a national multiparty election that named Alpha Oumar Konaré president, becoming only the second African military leader to leave power peacefully after democratic elections. (The first, General Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, also an Africa Prize laureate.) Upon stepping down, General Touré declared he would continue to work to improve the lives of the people of Mali and of Africa. He accepted former President Carter's invitation to lead the campaign to eradicate guinea worm in Mali and to oversee programs being started in 15 other African countries. In 1993 he founded the Children's Foundation to promote the rights of children and youth in accordance with the commitments made at the World Summit for Children in 1990. The Children's Foundation has started programs for children, youth and mothers in areas crucial to children's development, including nutrition and food security, education, environmental protection, clean drinking water and social peace. In the 1990s General Touré continued to work closely with the Carter Center and is one of four facilitators of the peace mission to resolve the conflicts in the Great Lakes region of Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zaire.