The award was presented to him at the 43rd annual world conference of the IAPC in Paris, France, which is being held under the theme “Campaigns Without Frontiers,” according to a statement from his party, the Movement for Democratic Change T.
The IAPC is an international association of renowned experts and strategists in media, politics and democracy. The award is given to an organisation or individual “courageously fostering, promoting and sustaining the democratic process anywhere in the world.”
The MDC T said Tsvangirai won the award in recognition of his “unstinting effort and courageous leadership in the struggle for democracy and freedom in Zimbabwe.
In his acceptance speech, Tsvangirai said the medal belonged to the people of Zimbabwe, dead and living, who have borne the brunt and pain of the struggle for democracy, freedom and real change.
Previous winners of the IAPC Democracy Award include Lech Walesa (Poland), Aung San SuuKyi (Burma) and renowned freedom icon and former South African President Nelson Mandela who spent 27 years in prison fighting apartheid.
Tsvangirai becomes the second African leader to win the award after former South African president Nelson Mandela who won it in 1993.
Tsvangirai is in Paris accompanied by the Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Jameson Timba and Nelson Chamisa, the Minister of Information Communication Technologies and other senior government officials, including the Zimbabwean envoy to France, Ambassador Hamadziripi.