Two officers from the New Zealand-based Hillary Institute of International Leadership are expected to arrive in Kiribati this week to present President Anote Tong with the Edmund Hillary leadership award.
The President’s Private Secretary Penita Kabubuke says President Tong should have received the award last year in New Zealand but was unable to receive it due to his other commitments.
Penita says President Tonga will receive the award this week on behalf of the government and people of Kiribati.
The award is named after New Zealand’s Sir Edmund Hillary who first scaled and reached the peak of Mt Everest in 1953.
About President Anote Tong:
Anote Tong won the Kiribati Presidential election in July 2003, beating his brother Dr. Harry Tong and private lawyer Banuera Berina.
Born in Tabuaeran, he is the son of a Chinese migrant who settled in the Gilberts after World War II. From the island of Maiana in Kiribati, he went to St Bede's College for his secondary school education, graduated from Canterbury University with a degree in Science, and then gained a Masters in Economics degree from the London School of Economics.
He is married to an I-Kiribati woman, First Lady Nei Meme, and has seven children.