Mrs Chantal Biya
Mrs Chantal Biya, the First Lady of Cameroon and President of the Foundation “African Synergies against AIDS and Suffering”, was designated as UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Education and Social Inclusion on 14 November 2008, thus becoming the first female African Goodwill Ambassador of the Organization.
The title was bestowed in recognition of Mrs Biya’s commitment to fighting social exclusion, notably through HIV/AIDS education and prevention, and her promotion of the Organization’s ideals. UNESCO wishes to build on Madame Biya’s efforts to address the interrelated issues of gender inequality and the empowerment of women and girls, vulnerable people and minorities in the context of the struggle against poverty.
Cameroon’s First Lady is known for her active social engagement, as well as her ability to mobilize the support of many African countries to her cause, as well as eminent scientists.
Mrs Biya is also renowned for her activities in favour of women, children and other vulnerable groups, notably through her Foundation “African Synergies against AIDS and Suffering” and the “Centre international de Référence Chantal Biya” (the Chantal Biya International Reference Centre).
The Centre is closely linked to UNESCO’s “Families First Africa” project, which supports activities that address HIV/AIDS in Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso.