Miss Universe 2011, Ms. Leila Lopes, will tour Ghana from 9-11 June to raising awareness about HIV/Aids among children and women,whilst celebrating African achievements.
She will be visiting various African orphanages in Senegal, Cote d'Ivore, Togo, Ghana and Nigeria in her commitment to help achieve the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals (MGDs).
Miss Lopes is scheduled to meet university students in all the four countries she visits. She will also meet government officials to share her views on poverty alleviation and the need for spreading education opportunities.
“I know that Africa was recently commended for making impressive strides towards achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals by 2015. However, much more needs be done to lift millions of Africans out of poverty and in educating our people about the dangers of HIV/Aids. I also see the tour as an opportunity to celebrate African achievements, which are often understated,” stated Miss Universe, who is also a UN Goodwill Ambassador.
The reigning Miss Universe represented Angola at the 60th Miss Universe Pageant in Rio Janeiro, Brazil – and went on to become the second black African woman to win the title.
Organizers of Miss Universe Ghana, the country looks forward to welcoming Miss Lopes to demonstrate that Ghanaians are 'the friendliest people in Africa'.
“We are delighted that the first Miss Universe titleholder we have the pleasure to host is a product of Angola; a product of Africa. We are most proud of her because she is testament that Africa and African women can compete on the international stage and excel. We hope this visit will be a source of both pride and inspiration for the young women of Ghana”, said a statement.
The Roberta Annan Consulting company is partnering with the Miss Universe Organization, Planet PR, Ecobank, and the SOS Organization to arrange the June tour.
“We are very excited about this trip and in full support of Miss Universe's mission to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS orphans. The SOS organization is a great model and one that is to be commended for its contributions to African children” noted Mrs. Roberta Annan, President of the US-based consulting company during a meeting with Ms. Leila Lopes, Miss Universe 2011.
The tour is being sponsored by Ecobank, the leading Pan-African bank.
The bank's CEO, Arnold Ekpe, who described Leila as a symbol of African achievement and excellence, expressed delight that Ecobank was associated with Miss Lopes's campaign.
“Many in our target audience, especially the youth contingent, are highly aspirational and resonate with the associations of success, achievement and collective concern for the people of Africa, that Miss Universe represents,” Mr. Ekpe said.
Story by Ghana/Luv Fm/Kofi Adu Domfeh