Ghana midfielder Michael Essien has pledged to promote peace in Africa after being appointed the African Union (AU) Peace Ambassador.
The Chelsea ace was handed the top post by Africaâ€™s political and economic integration body following his sterling work on humanitarian issues across the continent.
The 27-year-old has now been tasked by the leaders of all the 53 African countries to use his influence across the globe to promote peace in Africa.
Essien will also galvanize popular support for the implementation of the Year of Peace and Security programme and he is braced for the challenge.
â€œI am truly honoured by the African Union's decision to consider and appoint me a Peace Ambassador,â€ the well-liked midfielder said.
â€œI know with my image and experience in the past I can all play an important role in fostering peace not only in Africa but throughout the world.
â€œI will give my all in this new position to help to contribute to peace and security in Africa which has been a challenge in some areas of our continent.
â€œThis is a very important challenge that needs addressing and I hope I will achieve our aim of fostering peace love and unity in Africa.â€
As part of his duties as the AU Ambassador Essien will work with to support the realisation of a day of non-violence on 21st September, which has been designated as Peace Day, to facilitate humanitarian actions to take place;
He will participate in AU events and activities related to Peace and Security at the national, regional, and continental levels in order to create awareness and inspire grassroots participation in the Year of Peace and Security.
The Ghanaian will disseminate key messages on the Year of Peace and Security through various public platforms and media channels.
AU was founded in 2002 and seeks to support both political and economic integration among its 53 member states, a sort of United States of Africa approach.
Its aims include to further development, eradicate poverty and help bring Africa into the global economy however, it has faced criticism of being not making much progress in these areas.